How About We Stop Trading Jose Quintana?
If the White Sox want to be good in 2016, trading Jose Quintana isn't the way to do it.
I knew it would be an easy topic to write about this winter. The White Sox need help in a lot of areas, they're never going to spend like a major market team, and when you look at the parts of the current roster, Jose Quintana shines like a beacon as the sexiest trade chip of all.
He's under control through 2018, with options for both 2019 and 2020. If he sees the end of the contract, the White Sox will have paid him $43.25 million for the next five seasons, or an average of $8.65 million per season.
Not too bad when you consider that Jeff Samardzija is likely to get about $17 million per year on the open market this winter after coming off his worst season as a starter. Free agency is a player's market after all.
Zach Duke was awarded with $5 million per from the White Sox last year for the love of all that is holy.
Jose Quintana is something wholly unique in this day and age. He's a very good young pitcher who is never going to cost you a lot of money. One whose price you don't have to worry goes up due to arbitration.
This is a pitcher who has averaged 202 IP over the last three seasons, and has an ERA of 3.40, with an FIP of 3.27. He's the kind of pitcher that, were he to hit the open market, would probably command about $20 million per year right now.
And the White Sox get him for $8.65 per.
Which is also what makes him such an enticing trade chip. Teams would be willing to give up quite a bit to get their hands on an asset like Jose Quintana. So it's easy to make the "White Sox should trade Quintana to fix all their problems" connection when looking for something to write over the long, dark, winter.
Again, I get that. I can relate.
But let's use a little common sense. My car is the most valuable thing I have that I could live without, but selling it wouldn't make my life easier. I'd have more money, with which I could buy more things, but I'd have to walk everywhere, or use that newfound money to pay for Uber rides to Chipotle.
There have been a lot of things wrong with the White Sox the last couple of years. A lot of areas that need to be improved, but weakening the one strength that you have, your starting pitching, to improve other areas won't necessarily make you a better team.
Especially if your idea of a good trade for the White Sox is trading Jose Quintana to the Cubs for Javy fucking Baez. Really, Bruce? Were you waving a W flag around as you wrote that? You honestly think the best thing for the White Sox to do is trade a proven commodity for a prospect?
At least Paul Sullivan didn't bother coming up with a terrible trade return for Quintana in his column. Instead he stuck to just dealing him and signing Mark Buehrle. Because, you know, the White Sox are doomed to suck forever, but at least having Buehrle around will make the seals clap for their treat every five days. Plus we could have a cool pre-game ceremony like we did for Paul Konerko, and Ron Kittle could make Mark a gun rack for his truck out of baseball bats.
The problem with growing up as a White Sox fan in a city that's mostly Cubs fans is that more Cubs fans grow up to write about baseball and come up with horrible ideas to fix the White Sox (and if they can help the Cubs in the process, so much the better).
But trading Jose Quintana, unless you receive a preposterous return for him, won't make the White Sox a better team.
It'll just make them a different team.
Which is why the best Jose Quintana trade the White Sox could make this winter would be to not trade him at all. Instead get creative and find ways to put bats in the lineup that will actually score runs for him when he pitches.
Let him see what life can be like when he's winning games 3-2 rather than losing them 2-1.