For some reason, a group of Yankees fans seem to have an obsession with Chicago White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
It has reached a fever pitch since some reports came out Tuesday that the Yankees might be interested in the 27-year-old, who will turn 28 next January 24. They seem to feel he would be the piece that would cement the Yankees’ 2017 rotation.
That is all well and good. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just don’t share to and are totally against the Yankees trading top-level prospects such as Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, Justus Sheffield and others for a pitcher who has a career 46-46 mark and routinely allows close to, or over 200 hits a season.
The numbers guys will talk about his Wins Above Replacement numbers. I respect all that but have one serious question. If his WAR is so outstanding, why does Quintana have only a .500 record and just one winning season, 13-12 in 2016? Some have called him an ace. I disagree.
Yes, Quintana, who was originally signed by the Mets in 2006, was in the Yankees system on 2010. He was 10-2 that year at Class-A Advanced Tampa, mostly as a reliever. He elected minor-league free agency Nov. 2, 2010, and the White Sox, who have done a good job developing him, signed him eight days later.
The Yankees never looked at him as a prospect, and, the fact he has been a serviceable starter for the ChiSox, earning an All-Star appearance in 2016, is to both Quintana’s and his organization’s credit.
He is what he is, a serviceable starter. Is he worth a load of talented prospects? Not. As long as White Sox general manager Rick Hahn continues to demand that, Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn’t need to answer his phone. Hahn is buoyed by the fact he managed to get Yoan Moncada from Boston in the Chris Sale trade and Lucas Giolito on the Adam Eaton swap with the Nationals.
It seems he wants to complete a prospect trifecta by snagging of a few of the Yankees’ top prospects, except Cashman doesn’t seem to be playing. Hahn already was rejected by Houston, while Pittsburgh was somewhat aghast at what was asked for.
There are some out there who are stating Quintana is worth the same return as Sale. Are we kidding here? Let’s think for a second. Is a .500 pitcher worth as much as a legitimate staff ace? Where are we going here?
There are a few factors working here. One is the weak free-agent starting pitching market in 2016. That is what has Hahn smiling. He can peddle a bronze-level pitcher like Quintana for a gold-level return. He has tried this with a least three organizations so far and come up empty.
Everybody credits Hahn on his attempts to rebuild his team and organization, Nor does anyone discredit him for trying to fetch the best price. It’s a perfect storm with such a weak free-agent market.
Yet, that certainly does not mean the Yankees need to bow to Hahn’s wishes. In Yankee Stadium, the bet is Quintana could allow close to 30 home runs. He does allow some big flies.
He is not a fit for the Yankees.