The White Sox this offseason have undertaken what's thus far been an impressive rebuild, as they netted lots of high-ceiling young talent by trading away Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton to the Nationals. Their biggest remaining chip is left-hander Jose Quintana, and the Yankees are known to be among those interested. Now, though, the framework of a potential Yankees-White Sox blockbuster may be expanding. Here's the dirty from Bob Nightengale of USA Today ...
David Robertson, who's going into his age-32 campaign, was of course a lockdown reliever for the Yankees before signing a free agent contract with the White Sox prior to the 2015 season. In 2016, Robertson pitched to a 3.47 ERA/116 ERA+ with a K/BB ratio of 2.34 in 62 appearances. That's a solid enough campaign, but it's well shy of what we've come to expect from Robertson. In particular, he struggled with his control, as he issued 28 unintentional walks in 62 1/3 innings. He's under contract through 2018 and owed $25 million over that span. In any order to increase their haul in any deal, the White Sox may need to throw in some cash to offset what's left on Robertson's deal, as Nightengale indicates.
As for Quintana, he's still just 27 years of age and is signed through 2018 at a total cost of just $14.35 million. His contract also includes bargain options for 2019 and 2020 ($10.5 million/$1 million buyout in each instance). The price of those options can increase if Quintana hits certain incentives, but he'll still be a bargain relative to other frontline starting pitchers.
Quintana's topped 200 innings in four straight seasons and for his career he owns an ERA+ of 118 with a K/BB ratio of 3.20. Last season for the White Sox, he pitched to a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts and struck out 181 batters against just 49 unintentional walks.
The Yankees badly need some stability in a rotation that has little depth and includes injury risks like Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda. Loaded with young talent after last season's trades, the Yankees also have the capability to meet Chicago's asking price for Quintana without gutting the system.