Potential Suitors for Jose Quintana
Starting pitcher Jose Quintana is in search of a new contract this offseason, and there are several potential suitors for him. The 31-year-old southpaw pitched ten innings in 2020 for the Chicago Cubs. He dealt with a fluke thumb injury and lat inflammation, leading to a forgettable season. Once an elite starting pitcher in MLB, Quintana has lost a step in the last few years. He’ll be hoping for a strong bounce-back season in 2021.
Early on in his career, Quintana was exceptionally consistent. He totaled more than 200 innings with a sub-four ERA each year from 2013-2016 with the Chicago White Sox. In 2017, the Cubs acquired him for a package that included Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
Since being traded to the North side, his production has not been quite the same. In three-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs, Quintana posted a 4.24 ERA, failing to surpass 200 innings once. With a dynamic arsenal of pitches that includes a fastball, sinker, and curveball, he has the tools to pitch effectively late into his career. Heading into the 2021 season, Jose Quintana should get some contract offers from teams needing starting pitching depth in the near future. Here are five potential destinations for the left hander.
Boston Red Sox
Starting pitching is undoubtedly a top priority for the Boston Red Sox this offseason. Their ace Chris Sale, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is still questionable for opening day in 2021. Eduardo Rodriguez’s status is uncertain after recovering from Covid-19 although he has been throwing off of a mound. The team declined the club option for Martin Perez, making him a free agent. Nathan Eovaldi is the only sure thing returning to a rotation that allowed the highest batting average against (.279) in the AL last year.
Because of all the question marks with the pitching staff, Boston may go after one or more starting pitchers on the free agent market. Jose Quintana would be a good option to take charge of the starting pitching duties with Eovaldi until the return of Sale and Rodriguez.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants should be active in the starting pitching market, perhaps for a guy like Quintana. Johnny Cueto and Tyler Anderson were the only returning starters until Kevin Gausman accepted the qualifying offer to stay with San Francisco. After those three, Logan Webb and Tyler Beede figure to compete for a rotation spot, but both are far from certainties at this point.
The Giants have struggled with starting pitching over the last few years. The rotation hasn’t finished in the top half of the NL in ERA since 2016, the last year San Francisco made the postseason. Hoping to return to the playoffs in 2021, the Giants should be in the market for a starter or two this offseason.
New York Mets
Marcus Stroman accepted the qualifying offer to return in 2021, so the New York Mets have already addressed the starting rotation in that regard. If the price works out, the Mets may go after a left-handed pitcher like Quintana to solidify the rotation behind right handers Jacob Degrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Stroman. Rick Porcello is currently a free agent, and Michael Wacha is reportedly leaving for the Tampa Bay Rays. In any event, the pitching staff will undergo some restructuring this offseason.
Having already signed catcher James McCann and relief pitcher Trevor May, a logical next step for the Mets would be to solidify the rotation with a starter. As a lefty with past success, Quintana fits the bill.
Los Angeles Angels
Despite a career year from Dylan Bundy, the Los Angeles Angels finished with the second-worst starter ERA (5.52) in baseball last year. For the Angels to compete in the AL in 2021, they’ll need to address this problem before Spring Training. Bundy, Andrew Heaney, and Griffin Canning will return to form a solid core. Shohei Ohtani’s future as a two-way player remains uncertain, and the rotation could use a boost anyway. If the Angels don’t go after a bigger name, like Trevor Bauer, then Jose Quintana would be a natural fit.
Like the Mets, the Angels have already been aggressive this offseason. They acquired infielder Jose Iglesias and closer Raisel Iglesias in separate trades. For a team that seems to always need starting pitching help, the Angels should be interested in a reliable starter like Jose Quintana.
The Minnesota Twins finished second in the AL in starter ERA (3.54) in 2020, leading to a second straight division title. This offseason, however, they may lose Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill to free agency. With Kenta Maeda, Randy Dobnak, and Jose Berrios returning, the rotation is far from bad. Still, another starting pitcher could set up the Twins to ride hot starting pitching to third-consecutive division title.
Unless the Twins decide to pay the premium price for Bauer, a contract for a mid-tier veteran pitcher like Jose Quintana would slot in nicely to the rotation. Having spent multiple seasons with the White Sox, Quintana would be in a familiar place in that division. For what it’s worth, the Twins had success betting on a veteran pitcher last season; Maeda became their ace and finished second in Cy Young voting after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jose Quintana will be a highly valued starting pitcher this offseason because of his reliable track record. After a lost 2020 season, he should be in shape to have a strong rebound season in 2021. Potential suitors for Jose Quintana will include any team in need of starting pitching depth.
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