(CBS) As White Sox left-hander and prime trade chip Jose Quintana continues to struggle this season, general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday emphasized that there’s been no missed opportunity regarding his market.
“On the notion that we perhaps didn’t sell high, Im lucky or I’m privy to obviously what was on the table at the time in any of these trade talks, and we still to this day would not accept what was on the table in that specific scenario, even with any struggles that Q’s had,” Hahn said Tuesday in an interview with Mike Mulligan and David Haugh on 670 The Score.
“There’s no sort of lost opportunity here. You never want to move a guy just for the sake of moving him, especially when the offers are woefully inadequate. Obviously, you make a decision at a certain juncture, just like we did with Chris Sale at the trade deadline last year, that at this specific point in time, the offers aren’t sufficient, so we’re going to wait another few months — in that instance it was the offseason — where different players are available, different teams are involved in the mix and there’s a different sort of sense of timing and desire to get something done. So we don’t have any real concerns about missing a potential opportunity as it was put, and I certainly don’t view it as not selling high. I think that’s just inaccurate based upon what was on the table at that time and the value a long-term controllable, quality talent such as Q.”
There are potential complicating factors outside the White Sox’s control that could lessen Quintana’s value. Specifically, the Pirates and Rangers — two teams of which much was expected — continue to struggle, which raises the possibility that top-of-the-rotation pitchers in Gerrit Cole and Yu Darvish could be put on the trade market. Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto also holds an opt-out clause this offseason, and that could factor into San Francisco’s thinking as it has started 22-31 and sits 11 games back in the NL West.
Any or all of those pitchers entering the market would likely reduce interest in the 28-year-old Quintana, who’s 2-6 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. His walk rate of 3.5 per nine innings is also a career-worst mark. Quintana is under team control through 2020 and will cost a team-friendly $31 million from 2018-’20.
Hahn doesn’t believe trade speculation has affected Quintana. Rather, it’s been a lack of command with his fastball.
“I don’t think it has to do with any sort of trade rumors,” Hahn said. “This is one of the most even-keeled players I’ve ever been around. Any conversation we’ve had about this, he’s known exactly where things have stood. And he knows he’s a valuable guy for us and one we certainly love having around and will until such point that it doesn’t make sense in the long-term interest of the organization. He has had a bit of an erratic season. Obviously, his first start of the year in the (World Baseball Classic for Colombia) against Team USA was absolutely dominant. At times early in the season, he had a couple rough innings in which he gave up big numbers and then he ended up having a three-plus start stretch that was quality that ended with the Seattle game. For whatever reason, his four-seam command has been a little bit off. It hasn’t been quite as easy to correct on the fly as we’ve seen in the past, but we’ve certainly seen extended stretches of him where he looks like that same quality arm. At this point, he’s going to continue to get the ball for us every fifth day and be that quality starter far more often than not.”
Listen to Hahn’s full interview below. He also discusses the high-profile signing of 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert.