Earlier this week, there were rumors that the Braves were one of a few teams who were still in on the Jose Quintana sweepstakes. The White Sox have been dangling the 28-year-old Colombian star as trade bait all offseason, and even though we’re getting closer to Opening Day, Chicago is remaining very patient when it comes to possibly dealing him.
However, the Braves are remaining patient themselves for a couple of different reasons. John Hart recently spoke with Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and he explained that the Braves are comfortable with staying the course with their current crop of prospects and are also going to stick with their current rotation.
“I just don’t think we’re there yet,” he said. “We signed three one-year guys [Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia]. We did that because we do have the new stadium and all of the above. We’re still growing this team. Our whole mantra has been young players. It’s worked. We like where we’ve gone. Our farm system has gone from worst to first. At this point we’re probably likely not going to move these guys.”
While that’s a very good point to make, there’s also something else to consider — the Braves may not be a good fit with the White Sox when it comes to trading prospects. If this trade for Quintana was to go down, the price would be steep and it would probably cost the Braves Ozzie Albies — assuming John Coppolella doesn’t manage to pull off another Jedi Mind Trick or something similar.
However, the White Sox recently signed Tim Anderson to a contract extension and they also picked up Yoan Moncada in the Chris Sale trade as well. Both of those guys are middle infielders, so unless they feel like Albies would develop into a much better player than either Anderson or Moncada, then they’d have no reason to deal Quintana for Albies and any other prospects or major league-caliber players the Braves have.
This is a case where the White Sox know exactly what the trade market is when it comes to starting pitching, and they know that they have all of the power. If a team is going to acquire Jose Quintana in a trade this year, they’re probably going to overpay in order to get him. That would make sense for a team like the Astros or Dodgers — two teams that could potentially make a run at going deep into the Postseason this year. For a team like the Braves, though, that’s probably not a deal that they should make at the moment.
It’s probably safe to take John Hart at his word and assume that the Braves probably aren’t going to empty the farm in order to acquire a high-end starting pitcher like Jose Quintana at this particular time. That could change if things get weird going forward, but for now, the Braves appear to be out of the Quintana sweepstakes.