The Pittsburgh Pirates have "worked hard" to acquire left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox via trade, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweeted.
Olney also stated that Quintana's team friendly contract would fit hand in hand with the Pirates small market budget. Quintana is guaranteed $15.85MM over the next two years, with reasonable options for 2019 and 2020 or $1M buyouts.
In 2016, Quintana pitched 208 innings over 32 starts, and held a 3.20 ERA. In those 208 innings pitched, Quintana struck out 7.8 batters and walked only 2.2 batters per 9 innings.
Pittsburgh currently has a very young rotation behind their ace Gerrit Cole, who battled posterior inflammation in his pitching elbow last season. Behind Cole, the Bucs have starters Jameson Tallion, Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl and Juan Nicasio who will likely be in their rotation in 2017.
While acquiring Quintana from the White Sox would significantly improve the Pirates, it would also send questions throughout the league of what this franchise is looking to do. Adding an ace to their rotation, would likely mean they would like to compete to some extent in 2017, but trying to trade star outfield Andrew McCutchen, which has been rumored, would likely mean Pittsburgh is not looking to compete next season.
Quintana will no-doubt come at a powerful price in prospects. Chicago has already acquired multiple top-notch prospects this offseason, when they traded away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and reportedly asked for top-tier prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker, when the Houston Astros inquired about Quintana. No deal will come cheap with the White Sox, but you can understand their asking price when Quintana comes with four years of team control.
For the Pirates to get a deal done for Quintana, we can only guess that Pittsburgh would have to offer elite prospects like Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow or Mitch Keller, as it is currently anonymous as to who the Pirates and White Sox have discussed in a deal.null