We may be less than two weeks away from the season opener, but that hasn’t stopped the White Sox from actively seeking the right deal for Jose Quintana. And according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Braves are one of the teams interested in the stud southpaw.
The answer, major league sources familiar with the talks told Yahoo Sports, is the same it’s been since the White Sox committed to rebuild and started the dismantling of their core: Yes (Quintana’s available) … but only for the right price. And even as the White Sox have dispatched more scouts than usual to those back fields, sources said, no deal has materialized.
This is not to say one couldn’t come together within weeks, days, even hours. Multiple teams, including the Atlanta Braves, have shown continued interest, according to sources.
Quintana has pitched in Chris Sale’s shadow the last few years, but he’s as reliable as they come. He’s thrown between 200 to 208 innings every year since 2013, and his ERA (3.35) and FIP (3.34) have been remarkably consistent during that stretch. His strikeout (20.8%) and walk (6.0%) rates have been strong, too. He’s as good of a No. 2 starter as there is in baseball.
There’s no denying he would fit on the Braves, especially with four years and $35 million left on his contract. The issue, of course, is that just about every team would have interest in Quintana’s services, and the Braves may not match up with the White Sox as well as others.
Mike Foltynewicz seems like the obvious starting point, and he’s someone I feel is in for a breakout 2017. The other obvious piece would be Ozzie Albies, though with Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada already in Chicago, they may not want another infielder. At least one of those two, plus plenty more, would be the starting point for Chicago.
The Braves have no shortage of prospects to dangle — I’d argue they have nearly 25 legitimate prospects to offer teams — but as of now, the price has been too steep. And in my opinion, they’d be wise to exercise caution given the mileage on Quintana’s arm.