Pittsburgh Pirates: Injuries Increasing José Quintana’s Trade Value

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

With injuries to key trade deadline candidates, Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Jose Quintana has seen his trade stock take an upward turn.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely trade left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana. Fortunately, however, injuries around the league have raised his trade value. Quintana is one of the best starting pitchers on the trade market, and now with some injuries to other pitchers who will likely be moved by the August 2nd deadline, other teams might have to turn to the Pirates.

Quintana has been great this season, pitching to the tune of a 3.33 ERA, 3.37 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP. Although he only has a 21.6% K-rate, he has a phenomenal 7.3% walk rate and .78 HR/9. The underlying numbers agree that he’s been good this year. He clocks in with a 3.65 xFIP and 3.99 SIERA. He’s well above average at limiting hard contact, being in the 87th percentile of exit velo and 56th percentile of hard-hit rate.

It’s been quite a turnaround for Quintana, who had an ERA over 5.00 and FIP just a tick below 4.00 in the three seasons prior to 2022. Quintana is only controlled through the end of this year. With the Pirates going nowhere this year, and the chance to re-sign him in the off-season, he’ll likely be dealt (although I greatly support the idea of offering him an extension for the next two or so seasons).

Oakland A’s ace Frankie Montas went down with shoulder inflammation on the 6th. His pitch velocity was way down in his last start, throwing nearly 3 MPH slower than usual. Cincinnati Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle was also recently diagnosed with a shoulder strain. He was another guy who will likely get dealt before or on the trade deadline. Chicago Cubs’ veteran Kyle Hendricks also landed on the injured list.

This isn’t like Tyler Anderson last season. When the Pittsburgh Pirates dealt Anderson, he was far from the best pitching commodity on the trade market. Max Scherzer was the big prize, but you also had the likes of Kyle Gibson, Rich Hill, Jose Berrios, Andrew Heaney, Danny Duffy, and Jon Lester, who were all either outperforming or performing comparably to, or had more contractual control left than Anderson.

Right now, Quintana and Reds’ right-hander Luis Castillo are the only ones on the market who are both healthy and have a sub-3.50 ERA and FIP. That should help the Pittsburgh Pirates net a much more lucrative return for Quintana.

While Montas, Castillo, and Mahle do come with at one more year of control after 2022, Quintana should still be one of the top starting pitchers available in trade talks come the deadline. There are some good pitchers, but there’s no Max Scherzer like there was last year, and Quintana is far better than the back-of-the-rotation starter that Anderson was last season as well. Quintana’s ERA and FIP are over a whole point lower than Anderson’s.

If the Pirates play their cards right, they might get back more than Quintana’s value. Even if they wait until one of Montas, Castillo, or Mahle is dealt, there will still be buyers for Quintana’s services.

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Multiple teams, including the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays (who have already been connected to Q), and possibly even some fringe teams like the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins, and Seattle Mariners, will be in the hunt for some pitching help.