HOUSTON -- White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana makes too much sense for the Astros, which is why we're predicting Houston will be able to pull off a deal for the workhorse pitcher this offseason.
The Astros have said they're unwilling to part with their core of young players, a group that includes Alex Bregman and George Springer, but they have the prospects to pull off a significant trade. Whether the White Sox can be persuaded to trade the 27-year-old pitcher is another story.
The White Sox appear ready to move him. He will be in the third year of a five-year, $26.5-million deal, so it's a friendly contract that includes team options in 2019-20. Quintana has made at least 32 starts for the last four years, throwing 200 innings or more each season. He's 46-46 in his career, but he has a 3.41 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He has walked 244 batters and struck out 781 in 951 innings.
If the Astros reach the postseason, a rotation of Keuchel, Quintana, McCullers and McHugh could match up against anyone considering the offense the club will have. The Astros are in win-now mode and know their window to contend is wide open.
After years of agonizing rebuilding, the team is finally spending money and could be just one arm away from having a solid shot at returning to the World Series for the first time in a decade. Quintana could be the pitcher to push the Astros over the top. Who's ready to deal?
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.