Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Pirates Still Engaged on Jose Quintana

Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

Leading up to Christmas the hot rumor around the Pittsburgh Pirates was that they were trying to acquire Jose Quintana.  The talks slowed over the holiday break, but finally some news!

Leading up to Christmas it was reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates had worked “very hard” to acquire Jose Quintana.  This was reported by Buster Olney and over the next few days confirmed by Ken Rosenthal, and Jon Heyman.  However, as Christmas came many of the big insiders announced that they would be taking time off.  Why would they take time off?  For obvious reasons, because it is the holiday season.  Another reason, however, is that much of the league give their front office people time off.  Think about it how many rumors and deals were there last week?  Hardly any!

So with most of the league employees going away and the industry insiders taking time off not much was being reported regarding the progress of talks.  That is of course if there even was any talks.  The two sides very well might have agreed to restart talks when the holidays were over, as there is still plenty of time to get a deal done this off-season.  This seems to be the case. Many expected to hear something as soon as some of the MLB Insiders got back to writing and tweeting.  Well, Ken Rosenthal was back for one day and we got some news! Tonight Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox are still very much engaged in talks.  Rosenthal tweeted:

"“#WhiteSox engaged in daily trade discussions on Quintana. #Pirates, #Astros involved, possibly others. #Yankees appear longshot.”"

This is good news.  It seems that Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros are the finalists for Quintana.  The Yankees have called on Quintana, but are not willing to part with the necessary prospect talent to acquire the lefty pitcher.  Also, some have been speculating that the Yankees have interest in Todd Frazier and/or David Robertson of the White Sox.  The Yankees may have asked on Quintana while discussing these two.  If this is true the Yankees were likely trying to make a package deal and get Quintana for a lesser price in return for taking on Frazier/Robertson money.  The White Sox, however, want to maximize Quintana’s value in any deal.

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Meanwhile, the two teams involved seem to be in the best spot to land Quintana.  The Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros have two of the best farm systems in baseball.  Both have the minor league depth to get a deal done. They also have the need to add a quality starting pitcher.  Teams the Dodgers or Red Sox who also have very good systems are not currently searching for a starter. The White Sox are in a good spot to use the Pirates and Astros as leverage against one another in trade talks. It seems a deal could be done soon. Buster Olney wrote earlier that the White Sox prefer to move him before the start of Spring Training.  Barring any teams jumping into the sweepstakes late, it seems Quintana will be an Astro or Pirate. The question is who will be a White Sox in return?