Good morning fam, Happy Super Bowl Sunday!! Today we say good bye to NFL football and start hurling fast towards baseball. A joyous day to yours truly specifically for that reason, pitchers and catchers, which were once down a long dark hallway are now well lit and in site. I can even see the faint vision of opening day, sort of like when Rudy Robles stepped to the top of the hill in “Born in East LA” and the 108ers come rolling up behind. Unfortunately, with this rush of excitement, comes an equal and unappetizing rush of anxiety.
That anxiety has to do with Jose Quintana. I was all for Rick Hahn holding off for maximum value with the Chris Sale deal, you still had choices at that point. I was even okay with waiting on Adam Eaton, positions players are generally more durable than starting pitchers. But then back in December, we got to the point where, THE WHITE SOX ARE REBUILDING, and since then, nothing. Here is why that is at a minimum anxiety generating and at maximum very, very bad.
Jose Quintana is a blue chip asset in a rebuild, not quite a Chris Sale asset (I know, I know, Q had higher WAR last year, etc, but he’s just not as good and we all know that, so let’s get off that horse) but still a very, very good one that should help reseed a fast rebuild (when I say “fast” I’m talking ~3 years, I think the 2020 White Sox are a playoff contender if we get even a reasonable level of successes from these trades). Unfortunately, the White Sox appear to be gambling for the highest and best value. Here are the reasons why this “could” be a good idea.
– A new team or teams could emerge with needs once the season starts, either by contending when they aren’t expected to (think Yankees or Rockies) or a team in the end of their contending window may choose to back up the truck when it is clear they are going to have a real shot at a title (think Blue Jays or Orioles).
– Injuries to teams that were “set” could occur and open up new markets causing higher demand and better returns
– Waiting until July (non-waiver trade deadline) will allow the 2016 draftees to be included in any trades. This could free up talent that Rick and Kenny really wanted, it would also adjust the timeline of when the waves of talent arrive in Chicago. Most of these rebuilds have waves of talent show up in town so some players are already getting established while others are just arriving. This is why these windows rarely last longer than 3-4 years.
That’s pretty much the extent of what could go right……….now, time for me to grab my barf bag and lay out all of what could go wrong.
– Q could suck in the first half. There isn’t a lot of faith in the business community ($1, Grandma in Rounders) in pitchers without elite velocity that have half a bad year. If Q does come out and have a 5 ERA in the first half, his market will be gone. You can still trade him, but you ain’t getting what you can get now, even in deals that Rick Hahn isn’t that thrilled about, they’ll be way worse.
– Q could get hurt. This is the scenario where we all cry (and some of us probably kick our cat). If Q gets hurt this shit is all out the window. Something minor, at a minimum, hurts his trade value ALOT. At the max, if he ends up needing Tommy John surgery, you are toast, you get nothing for him, because it can take 18 months to come back from that surgery and then he would have to rebuild his value before anything could occur. I guess by then, he might be good enough to be a contributor on the 2019 and 2020 teams, but those teams won’t be as good because they didn’t get the prospects from a Q deal.
– Q could be really good in the first half! Yes, this is part of the BAD scenarios. Look above at scenarios where things could work out better at the deadline. Amongst those good scenarios, the White Sox get 2/3 of a season of Q’s ~5 WAR talent, not only that, Q will be pitching instead of someone probably much worse than him for the first half of the year (before Giolito, Lopez or Fulmer are ready) and that could be a huge key in helping the White Sox lose enough to pick first overall #TankforBeer. I’m not as excited about Seth Beer as the rest of White Sox twitter, but his talent is real and picking at the top of the draft has lots of advantages, including higher bonus pool for both the June Amateur draft and the International Amateur signing period. Even in the scenarios Q’s trade value goes up between now and July 31st, the overall value of the deal might not, when considering draft position and bonus pools.
What do I suggest?
“HI RICK HAHN, IT’S BEEFLOAF, CAN WE HAZ PROSSSPEK FOR Q, NAO? KTHXBAI”
Alright, but what now, with whom and how? Well, there are a fair amount of people whispering about the Astros (the 108’s Side Chick) getting back into this because of the compensation from the Cardinals/Chris Correa cheating scandal. That compensation includes a competitive balance pick, #75, which is tradeable. I’ll put it out there, the Astros have been studio gangsters this whole time in the Q trade talks. Below are the teams that have been studio gangsters.
Studio Gangsters in Q trade talks
I’m not sure who the Q trade should go down with, but these teams above are pussy footing around too much. If a deal does go down, I don’t see a Dave Dombrowski or Mike Rizzo type overpay. I see more of a bulk deal. 108’s own Chorizy-E (after having a few cocktails) floated an idea that the White Sox should make a bulk trade with the Jays where they get Vlad Jr. and other not as shiny toys, but a bunch of them. I think something like that works better than trying to get Alex Bregman or Gleyber Torres, or some other guy that won’t be traded.
In closing, I trust Rick Hahn, probably more than the majority of White Sox twitter and the White Sox fan base as a whole, but I am still nervous about how wrong this could go and if nothing else, I want you to share in my anxiety.
Enjoy the holiday (it should be a fucking holiday, goddamnit) and we’ll catch you on the flip side, when baseball becomes king again.