Hey, there’s Jose Quintana news! Not any connecting him to the Pirates, who were repeatedly connected to him earlier this offseason, but rather to the Rangers, who have issues at the back of their rotation.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted earlier today that the Rangers had suddenly stepped up in their pursuit of Quintana, although Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News disputes that there’s much going on, noting the possibility that the White Sox could be trying to make the Rangers’ interest look more intense than it is so that their AL West rivals in Houston increase their offer. (As you’ll probably recall, the Astros have been even more strongly connected to Quintana this winter than the Pirates have.)
It would make sense if the Rangers were to suddenly have stronger interest in Quintana — after Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, they have Martin Perez, who profiles as a decent back-end ground-ball guy, and then two pretty big wild cards in Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. Another top starter would be especially crucial for them. It’s unclear, though, whether they would have the young talent necessary to make a deal; both the Pirates and Astros seem like better trade partners for the White Sox in that regard.
At this point, though, it would be surprising if the White Sox traded Quintana to anyone before the start of the season. My guess is that if they were going to trade Quintana, it probably would have happened right now, and for the Pirates in particular, re-signing Ivan Nova probably made a Quintana deal less likely. Quintana could, however, reemerge as a potential trade candidate in June or July.