With the Chicago White Sox holding a firesale of every valuable player they have, the top name on the list right now is Jose Quintana. The Pittsburgh Pirates are very interested in the talented pitcher, but trading for him could eventually lead to Andrew McCutchen being traded as well. The New York Mets, even though he doesn’t fit that much, are interested in the centerfielder.
But we begin with Quintana, who saw Adam Eaton and Chris Sale go (for a lot) and might be interested in moving on as well. However, the price is going to be high. He has four more years of control, and is guaranteed under $16 million over the next two seasons, before two team option years come into play. For a player with a 5.2 WAR last season, four consecutive years of 200 innings pitched or more and a 3.20 ERA in 2016, that’s a bargain.
The Houston Astros came asking not too long ago, and the White Sox asked for two top prospects (Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker) along with a major league player in Joe Musgrove. Not too unreasonable considering the numbers, both on the contract and his stat sheet. What can the Pirates offer the ChiSox? Maybe prospects like Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Mitch Keller, although it’s still unclear how the PIrates will make this work.
Whether it’s the 28-year old Colombian or someone else, the Pirates need pitching help. They don’t have much behind Gerrit Cole heading into 2017. And considering that the main feature of this Pirates offseason has been whether McCutchen will or will not be traded, it would be a surprising change in direction. Right now it appears like regardless of any other moves, McCutchen is staying, but the Mets have shown interest, although it doesn’t make much sense.
McCutchen, declining or not, is playing in the outfield, which is already full and beyond in Citi Field. Meanwhile, the Pirates will definitely ask for pitching in return for the 5-time All-Star and one-time MVP. The Mets are counting on their rotation being healthier in 2017, which means they’re thinking about contending, and not splitting their talent on the mound up. McCutchen might be an interesting prospect to them, but a bit unrealistic, and unnecessary.