According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Cardinals have “quietly showed interest” and emerged as a “sleeper team” to acquire White Sox lefty Jose Quintana.
It’s the first time the Cardinals have formally been connected to the 28-year-old starter who has been mentioned in trade rumors for months dating back to November. While the Astros and Pirates have been “passive” in their efforts to acquire Quintana, per Heyman, the Cardinals could be lurking in the background. As Heyman notes, St. Louis has the “combination of young players and prospects” to make a deal.
White Sox GM Rick Hahn’s asking price has been sky-high on his ace, and deservedly so with Quintana boasting a 3.35 ERA over his last four seasons and an extremely team-friendly contract that runs through 2020. Quintana hasn’t had much run support in Chicago and is due $6 million in 2017 and $8.35 million in 2018 with a pair of $10.5 million club options for 2019 and 2020. It’s going to take several young players to acquire him.
Hahn and Cardinals GM John Mozeliak hooked up on a deadline deal last summer that had St. Louis send outfielder Charlie Tilson to Chicago in exchange for lefty reliever Zach Duke. The White Sox will likely hold onto Quintana until closer to this year’s deadline, but he’s a good bet to be shipped off for prospects. The Cardinals’ hand could be forced if fifth starter Michael Wacha’s shoulder issues flare up again.