The Chicago White Sox reportedly are working around the clock … OK ,working diligently during business hours to rid themselves of a pitcher in his prime with a team-friendly contract.
Jose Quintana, heading into his age 28 season, compiled a 13-12
record with a 3.29 ERA and 5.0 WAR (Baseball Reference.) in 2106. He has two more bargain-priced seasons to go on his contract ($6 million in 2017, $8.5 million in 2018) and two years of club options (for $10.5 million in 2019, and $11.5 million in 2020).
But the White Sox are rebuilding and while that concept is about as old as
Major League Baseball, this is a new age. Getting rid of aging stars is not enough.
No you want to get rid of anyone with trade value. You need to go all in and get really bad, really fast. Like the Houston Astros.
Before the 2011 season, the Astros made it clear they were starting over
and compiled the three worst seasons in the franchise’s history.
By 2014, they were a respectable 70-92. In 2015, the made the playoffs as
the wildcard with an 86-76 record. In 2016, they slipped to 84-78 and were five games out of the wildcard.
So this is the right model? I think the jury is out on that.While the
industry and the media have applauded the Astros’ model, one wildcard playoff spot in the three years since they stopped being awful is hardly the type of overwhelming success that screams this is the way to go. Some of the enthusiasm stems from the Astros contending a season earlier than expected.
In the NBA, the 76ers have been trying the extreme teardown approach, and
it is not working, despite the organization’s mantra, “Trust the Process.”
The Astros seem to have a good nucleus. But I think we have to see how this
core group of players performs over the long haul.
Anyway the White Sox want to get rid of a player who still might be quite
productive by the time the team is on its way up. And even if Quintana is mediocre veteran by 2020, his $11.5 million price tag is cheaper than most inning-eating, past-their-prime, league-average- ERA hurlers.
Coincidentally, the Astros may benefit from the Pale Hose’s eagerness to
follow this path. They are one of the teams rumored to be in the mix for Quintana.