Analysis

White Sox: Yankees Reportedly Interested in Jose Quintana

Rumors suggest that the New York Yankees are interested in Jose Quintana, which could be another step in the right direction for the rebuilding White Sox.

In a White Sox offseason that has already seen trades involving left-handed ace Chris Sale and speedy outfielder Adam Eaton, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted that the Yankees may now look to make a deal of their own with the White Sox.

The 2016 season was a frustrating one for White Sox fans. Many fans (myself included) have been calling for a tear-down and rebuild since as far back as 2008, so to see the organization go eight years with a floundering team and a farm system gradually slipping down the rankings with no sign of improvement was discouraging. This offseason, however, Rick Hahn and the White Sox front office have made it clear that they are ready to go forward with a much-needed rebuild.

There is an important distinction to be made between the concepts behind “rebuilding” and “retooling.” Take the Chicago Cubs for example. Not going after Aroldis Chapman this offseason was a move the Cubs were prepared to make, so they went out and acquired a new closer in Wade Davis. That’s retooling. Rebuilding starts from the ground up, dealing valuable players in an attempt to lay a new foundation for future seasons.

In the time between 2008 and 2016 it seemed like the White Sox were constantly trying to retool a team that had barely any tools in the toolbox to begin with. Patch the leaky roof with straw, trade in the 2002 Toyota for a 1998 Dodge Caravan even though the Subaru’s cassette player doesn’t work anymore and both the air conditioning and heat settings blast cold air but only when the dial is set on 2 or 3 and the manual window crank broke off so you have to use a flat-head screwdriver and a paper clip but the Subaru was the only thing available and you needed something… the comparisons could continue but I’ll stop there. The White Sox are finally moving away from the “one foot in rebuilding, one foot in staying competitive” approach and have fully committed to both feet in the rebuilding door and so far it looks great.

When Chris Sale and Adam Eaton were traded over the Winter Meetings it was a big statement. The seven prospects the White Sox received in those two trades launched their farm system from the bottom of baseball to Top 10 caliber, and the White Sox still have a few big pieces they can move to bolster the system even more. Now that the Yankees have emerged as a potential candidate to acquire Jose Quintana it seems as though the White Sox are once again in a position to improve.

New York’s farm system was ranked #2 in all of baseball in MLB.com’s mid-season farm system rankings and if Chris Sale’s trade was any indication on the market’s value on quality left-handed starting pitching then Jose Quintana should fetch an equally hefty return. Andrew Marchand of ESPN wrote that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is hesitant to part with the big name prospects the White Sox would want for Quintana, so a trade between the Sox and Yankees would settle in the middle ground of what Quintana is worth and what the White Sox could realistically get in return.

As much as it hurts to see beloved players go, the White Sox have wasted enough of their prime years and its time to get some value in return while they still can. It has been a promising, future-oriented offseason for the White Sox  and the opportunity for even more fun is on the horizon.

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