White Sox: A trade to bring back an old friend and help the rotation

Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates

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A trade for an old friend could help the Chicago White Sox starting rotation.

The Chicago White Sox enter action on Saturday with the 15th best ERA among all major league pitching staffs. Unfortunately for them, that’s about where the good news stops.

The starters rank 23rd in WHIP, 28th in walks per nine, 14th in hits per nine, and 16th in home runs per nine. Overall, it’s a pretty average performance for a team that built itself up to have one of the best starting rotations in the game.

A root cause could be attributed to injuries. Lance Lynn has thrown a pitch for them all year which has led to the team giving Vince Velasquez an opportunity to start regularly. More painful, Dallas Keuchel continues to get his chances, too. A quick look around the league, there is an old friend likely available in a trade this summer to help the rotation.

White Sox reunion with Jose Quintana could work well for both

Jose Quintana enjoyed parts of six seasons with the White Sox from 2012 until mid-2017 when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. In those early days with the White Sox, Quintana was not a star but as much of a consistent mid-rotation arm as you could ever ask for. His first five seasons included ERAs ranging from 3.20-3.76; getting consistently better each year. He also gave the White Sox 200+ innings each season from 2013-2016.

This wouldn’t be the version of Quintana the White Sox could possibly ask for in 2022. He has battled some injuries and been far less consistent since leaving them. Those days are long over.

However, Quintana has emerged as one of this summer’s most intriguing trade pieces. Now a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates on a one-year $2 million contract, he’s as affordable as anyone.

Through 9 starts for the Pirates, Quintana is 1-2 with a 2.15 ERA. He isn’t overpowering in any way. That never really was his modus operandi. Quintana made his mark on the White Sox in a similar way as Mark Buehrle did. Quintana is just the next generation’s version of an MLB innings eater.

At their best, the White Sox have been playing around .500 baseball consistently. They have many more problems than just the starting five but many of their losses are a result of the pitching losing control early on. The Pirates wouldn’t hold Quintana for too large of a ransom. After all, they signed him for the exact purpose of trading him at the deadline. The starting pitcher-needy White Sox would be a great match.

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