JOSE QUINTANA, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: January 24, 1989
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2006 (Mets)
How Acquired: Free agent
Country: Colombia
Agent: Wasserman Agency
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
For four years with the White Sox and, to a lesser degree, two and a half with the Cubs, Quintana was one of baseball’s more reliable starters.  His path to the majors was unusual.  His original team, the Mets, cut him loose after just three games.  He caught on with the Yankees and pitched very well, but was never added to their 40-man roster.  After he became a free agent, the White Sox signed him and added him to their 40-man.  After just nine starts in AA, the Sox called him up; he never pitched in AAA.

For most of his career, Quintana has thrown four pitches:  a four-seamer, sinker, curve and change.  In his good years, his fastball was generally 92-93 mph.  More recently it’s been 91-92.  He always had good control until 2021, and over the course of his career has had only limited platoon splits.  He hasn’t generally had significant trouble with home runs.  Quintana’s struggles in 2020-21 may or may not have been influenced by injuries.  The Pirates signed him as a free agent to a major league contract for 2022.

2006
VSL:  0-1-0, 8.44 ERA, 2.63 WHIP, 5.1 IP, 13.5 BB/9, 8.4 K/9

Quintana made just three relief appearances in Venezuela after signing with the Mets.

2007
DNP

The Mets put Quintana on the restricted list until July, then released him.

2008
DSL:  3-2-0, 1.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 55.0 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 12.4 K/9

The Yankees signed Quintana in March and sent him to the Dominican.  He pitched very well, mostly as a starter, including a K rate that was especially impressive back then.

2009
DSL:  2-1-0, 2.32 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 50.1 IP, 6.6 BB/9, 14.3 K/9

For some reason, the Yankees sent Quintana back to the DSL.  He again pitched well, holding opponents to a .149 average, with just two extra base hits, both doubles.  He did have control issues.

2010
R:  3-1-1, 2.31 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 23.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 12.3 K/9
A:  0-1-0, 4.70 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 15.1 IP, 5.9 BB/9, 7.0 K/9

Quintana went to the Gulf Coast League and continued dominating, pitching in relief.  The Yankees moved him up to Low A for five games, including three starts, late in the season.

2011
A+:  10-2-1, 2.91 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 102.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Quintana moved up to High A and had another good season, making a dozen starts and 18 relief appearances.  The Yankees didn’t add him to the 40-man roster and he became a free agent.  The White Sox not only signed him, they added him to their 40-man roster.

2012
AA:  1-3-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 48.2 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 7.6 K/9
MLB:  6-6-0, 3.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 136.1 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 5.3 K/9

In AA, Quintana pitched well over nine starts.  The Sox called him up for one appearance in early May and he threw five and two-thirds shutout innings.  After three more games in AA, he joined Chicago’s rotation for good.  Despite a low K rate, he pitched well.

2013
MLB:  9-7-0, 3.51 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 200.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

Quintana started a string of four seasons with 32-33 starts and 200 or more innings.  He was equally effective against right-handed and left-handed hitters, and failed to go at least five innings only three times.

2014
MLB:  9-11-0, 3.32 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 200.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Quintana had another strong season, pitching well throughout the year.  He allowed a home run just once every 20 innings.

2015
MLB:  9-10-0, 3.36 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 206.1 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Compared to the previous year, Quintana got hit a bit harder.  His opponents’ average went from .257 to .272 and their slugging average from .358 to .408.  Still, he got largely the same end results.

2016
MLB:  13-12-0, 3.20 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 208.0 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

This was arguably Quintana’s best season.

2017
MLB (CWS):  4-8-0, 4.49 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 104.1 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9
MLB (ChC):  7-3-0, 3.74 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 84.1 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 10.5 K/9

Quintana got off to a rough start, with opponents slugging .470 against him.  He pitched much better starting in June, but in mid-July the White Sox traded him to the Cubs.  He continued pitching well after the trade.

2018
MLB:  13-11-0, 4.03 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 174.1 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 8.2 K/9

Quintana wasn’t quite as good with the Cubs as he had been with the White Sox.  He averaged fewer innings per game — although some of that was probably different managing — and he got hit a little harder.

2019
MLB:  13-9-0, 4.68 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 171.0 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Quintana slipped a little more.  Opponents hit 282/323/440 against him, but he had a good record because the Cubs scored six runs per game for him.

2020
MLB:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 10.8 K/9

Quintana missed much of the pandemic season with thumb and lat injuries.  He got into only four games, including one start.  After the season, he became a free agent and signed with the Angels.

2021
MLB (LAA):  0-3-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 53.1 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 12.3 K/9
MLB (SF):  0-0-0, 4.66 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 5.6 BB/9, 11.2 K/9

In LA, Quintana struggled.  Through the end of May, over nine starts, he had an ERA of 7.22, then he went on the injured list for three weeks with shoulder inflammation.  When he came back, the Angels moved him to the bullpen.  He was more effective as a reliever, with a 3.93 ERA.  At the end of August, though, the Angels put him on waivers and the Giants claimed him.  He pitched five times in relief for them and wasn’t especially effective.  Overall, his K rate was up but his walk rate was up a lot.  The Angels’ bad defense didn’t help Quintana, as he had a .401 BABIP with them.  He did, however, give up a lot more hard contact, with a higher average exit velocity than he’d allowed in his good seasons.  His velocity was also down about one mph from then.  San Francisco outrighted him after the season and he elected free agency.

With Quintana, the Pirates will probably hope to repeat their modest success with Tyler Anderson, who pitched well for them and then brought a small return in trade.  Based on his history, Quintana might have more upside than Anderson, but his best years ended in 2016.  It’s possible that 1000 innings over a five-year stretch was as much as his arm could handle.  He might be more effective in relief, but the Pirates are almost certainly hoping to use him as a starter.  They have almost no established major league pitchers of any sort, so there are plenty of opportunities.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2022: $2,000,000
2021:
$8,000,000
2020:
$10,500,000
2019: $10,500,000
2018: $8,850,000
2017: $7,000,000
2016: $5,400,000
2015: $3,400,000
2014: $850,000
2013: $500,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $1,400,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 5/7/2012
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/10/2011
Options Remaining: 0
MLB Service Time: 9.133
TRANSACTIONS
April 26, 2006: Signed by the New York Mets as an international free agent.
July 31, 2007: Released by the New York Mets.
March 10, 2008: Signed as a minor league free agent by the New York Yankees.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
December 15, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent by the New York Yankees.
November 2, 2011: Became a free agent.
November 10, 2011: Signed as a free agent by the Chicago White Sox.
July 13, 2017: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Chicago Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
October 28, 2020: Became a free agent.
January 22, 2021: Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels.
August 30, 2021: Claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels by the San Francisco Giants.
September 30, 2021: Designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants; outrighted to AAA on October 3.
October 15, 2021: Refused minor league assignment and became a free agent.
November 21, 2021: Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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