By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The probable trade of White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana has become the most elongated fantasy league folly of the 2017 baseball season.
Experts for months have predicted Quintana going to Pittsburgh, Houston, New York or other stops on the trail of would-be suitors. As the speculation has swirled, Quintana has been strongly, pitching 19 consecutive shutout innings until the Rangers scored a run in the third inning of what would be an eventual 6-5 win for the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday.
In evaluating Quintana’s value, there’s a disconnect so far on what the White Sox desire in a trade and what interested teams have offered. The 28-year-old Quintana finished June with a 2-1 record and 1.78 ERA in five starts. His outing Sunday was marred by a four-error performance by the infield defense. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, three earned.
The fact that a trade hasn’t been consummated shouldn’t create the assumption that the White Sox brass has failed to get market value. Quintana’s 5-9 record and 4.45 ERA won’t cause general manager Rick Hahn to dump him in a trade deadline deal at low market value.
Advice from experienced pitchers who have been traded multiple times can come in handy for Quintana. Right-hander James Shields has been dealt three times since the offseason of 2013.
“The one thing as players is we can’t control what happens,” Shields said of Quintana’s situation. “We just have no control in that. It does not matter if you are playing for the White Sox or any other team. You play the game of baseball and just do your job. The one thing I would tell him right now is just to prepare to pitch every five days for the White Sox and not to think about anything else. At the end of the day, go out compete and have fun like he always does.”
Manager Rick Renteria doesn’t see any consistency issues with Quintana despite seven months of trade rumors.
“When you start to allow outside influences or the noise, as I call it, take over your approaches and the way you think, it serves really no purpose,” Renteria said. “If you want to use it as a motivation, OK. For the most part, you have to control what is going on between the lines. I think he has been trying to do that all season. Obviously, he settled into it a little more in June.”
The next four weeks could be an emotional roller coaster for Quintana.
“I don’t pay attention to the rumors,” Quintana said. “I don’t have any control over that. I just prepare for the next start. Tomorrow starts my new preparation for another outing.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.