Great options… if they can be had
Sep 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcherJose Quintana
(62) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The lesser known 25-year old ChiSox southpaw, Quintana is far from a slouch. The international product signed out of Colombia in the winter following the 2011 season has been very strong in his first three seasons with the White Sox. Perhaps more encouraging has been his progression across those three seasons, debuting to a solid 3.76 ERA in 2012, improving to an even better 3.51 in 2013, and ultimately underscoring his growth with a stellar 3.32 ERA this past season. That number is nearly a full point better than that of the best ERA in the Red Sox rotation at the end of 2014, Joe Kelly‘s 4.11.
He pitched 200 innings each of the last two seasons and has seen his strikeout totals steadily climb also, reaching 178 this year. All of these numbers are impressive but the sticking point will be his availability. The White Sox have stated that they have no intentions of trading their young arms, despite the obvious rebuild that they are undergoing. With Quintana under team control until 2019, they truly have no pressure to deal him unless they get a hefty offer; one that will likely need to include Henry Owens or Mookie Betts (I consider Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart untouchable and generally don’t even float them in hypothetical trades). Some of the other names on this list will have a similar price tag but better resume, so unless the asking price is less than I expect, it may be safer to deal for someone else.