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Astros rumors: Houston interested in Jose Quintana

Assuming the pitching staff is on the trading block, the White Sox have at least one suitor for their incumbent ace.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A day after trading away the staff ace, the White Sox are drawing trade interest on Jose Quintana now. The Astros are among the teams most interested in acquiring the White Sox’s incumbent ace according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.

Over the past four seasons, Quintana has pitched 814.2 innings, pitching at least 200 innings in each season. As if that wasn’t valuable enough, the 27-year-old is coming off of three consecutive roughly five-win seasons by FanGraphs’ WAR. Only seven pitchers have collected more wins above replacement in that time frame.

The Astros have been active so far this offseason, saying that they are committed to increasing payroll. Considered one of the early favorites to add Edwin Encarnacion, the signing of Carlos Beltran seems to have ended that discussion. The focus seems to have shifted toward the rotation now, as Quintana could be in the mix.

If the White Sox do make Quintana available, his selling price likely won’t be too much lower than Sale’s. While Sale is an elite lefty, Quintana would have little problem filling a team’s ace slot. Furthermore, Quintana is younger and under team control for an additional year. Even further, Quintana is due just under $38 million over the next four years. A pitcher this dominant on that good of a deal doesn’t come along often.

With the Nationals outbid by the Red Sox for Sale, they are rumored to be looking at Quintana now as well. While a deal rumored to be centred around top prospects Victor Robles and Lucas Giolito couldn’t get a Sale deal done, it will be interesting to see if the teams can line up better on a Quintana deal. With the free agent pitching market looking scant as it is, the White Sox look like they have chosen the right offseason to sell, and the buyers seem to be circling.