When I woke up this morning and went on Twitter, I was surprised to read about the potential for a trade that I had briefly considered, but never thought too much about: Jose Quintana to the Brewers. As Sox fans continue to hope for the Astros trade that might never happen, it’s worth looking at the potential for a trade to the NL Central for Quintana, and why it makes sense for everyone involved.
Why it Makes Sense for the White Sox:
The White Sox are (spoiler alert!) in the midst of a rebuild. Trading Quintana is the next big step in the direction of this rebuild that has yet to be completed. The Brewers have the 5th best farm system in Baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, so they clearly have much to offer the White Sox that would in fact be beneficial to the Sox’ long-term outlook (see below).
Why it Makes Sense for the Brewers:
It’s pretty clear why this makes sense for the Brewers. In their first full season of a rebuild, they are visibly far ahead of schedule. Plus, the NL Central, which the Cubs were predicted to run away with, is wide open. It appears the Cubs could be looking to add to their SP arsenal at the trade deadline, so it would be wise for the Brewers to consider doing the same with ace Chase Anderson on the DL. Plus, Quintana still fits well into any rebuilding plans, as he is young with a team-friendly contract that the team with the Major League’s lowest payroll should find extremely appealing. Quintana also owns a 3.23 ERA in 128.1 Interleague innings in his career, so he has shown that he can compete in the NL as well. One important question remains, however: are the Brewers willing to part with top prospects at the beginning of a rebuild? The good news: all signs appear to point to the Brewers becoming buyers at the deadline – as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi writes – which gives this trade a little more life.
Who Could the White Sox Get in Return?
With all the talent the White Sox have acquired in the past year, there has been a lack of OF talent acquired through either the draft or through trades. Luckily, four of the top ten Brewers’ prospects – including their #1 and #2 – are OF prospects. The White Sox acquired the #1, #5, #8, and #28 Red Sox prospects for Chris Sale, so I expect the White Sox would receive at least one of the top 5 OF talents in a deal for Quintana. While many point to #2 prospect, and White Sox ACE alum, OF Corey Ray as a potential part of the deal, I would prefer to see the White Sox receive #1 prospect Lewis Brinson, as Ray has a BB:K ratio of about 1:3, which is far too high, and a slash line of just .237/.313/.366 in Advanced A-ball. I anticipate the White Sox would also receive one other top-10 talent, possibly one of RHP Brandon Woodruff (#8), LHP Josh Vader (#3), or RHP Luis Ortiz (#4), all of whom made Baseball America’s midseason Top 100 Prospects List. If the White Sox can get a similar – albeit lesser – return for Quintana as they did for Chris Sale, consider this trade to be another successful step in the rebuild direction for Hahn and Co.