Cubs News: MLB insiders think Jose Quintana could get overpaid

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Former Cubs hurler Jose Quintana could be in line for a nice payday this winter.

I would venture to say the percentage of Chicago Cubs fans who feel good about Jose Quintana and his time on the North Side is relatively small. I think that’s largely in-part to the price tag he came with back in 2017 when the Cubs sent Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the White Sox in order to fill a need: a reliable, cost-controlled starting pitcher.

Quintana missed virtually all of the 2020 season due to injuries, starting once and making a trio of relief appearances to round on his Cubs career. It was an up-and-down journey for the southpaw, who finished his time with the team with a 4.24 ERA and 3.93 FIP across 439 2/3 regular season frames.

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Now, he hits free agency at a time where many teams, including the Cubs, are reining in their spending and looking to build out rosters on the cheap. But according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, a survey of MLB insiders and executives believe Quintana could be part of a group of players who will get overpaid this offseason in free agency.

Here’s how the voting broke down:

Liam Hendriks and Alex Colome, both relievers, got a trio of votes apiece. Quintana followed hot on their heels with a pair of votes and James McCann, Trevor Bauer and another former Cub, Tommy La Stella, each received one vote.

"Some might find it interesting that two closers led the way, but knowing the volatility of relievers — even those with a proven track record — it might be hard to argue with the results. Only two hitters even showed up in responses and seeing Bauer get a vote was a little startling. But Cy Young winners can be overpaid just like anyone else. Time will tell the story in this category."

Rogers hits it right on the head in his comments. Relievers are often overpaid (just ask the Rockies how that record deal with Wade Davis worked out a few years back). But for Quintana to be the runner-up struck me as particularly interesting. Why? Because I think he actually brings a ton of value to a team – regardless of what a lot of Cubs fans might think.

From 2013 to 2019, Quintana averaged a 3.72 ERA over 32 starts (193 innings) annually. I’m sorry, but finding that type of consistency and durability in a starting pitcher isn’t anything that should be taken for granted. It’s those very qualities that led the Cubs to trade for the left-hander back in 2017.

I don’t think Quintana returns to the Cubs, simply for the reason Rogers points out: somebody is going to pony up a nice chunk of change for his services. He turns 32 in a few weeks and has proven that he’s a quality big league arm, capable of holding down a spot in the rotation on a postseason-quality club.

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This doesn’t mean all that much for Chicago. But it’s always interesting seeing where former players wind up and how the market treats them. Given how we’re spending (or not spending) this winter, the offseason might be made up more of this type of news rather than substantive roster turnover for the North Siders.