Mariners FA Target: Soft Tossing LHP Jose Quintana

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 28: Jose Quintana #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 28, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 28: Jose Quintana #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 28, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Mariners have a lot of heat in their starting rotation. Between Castillo, Ray, Kirby, and Gilbert, they have plenty of guys that can dial up the velocity. They are also pretty right-handed heavy, as Robbie Ray is the only lefty on the staff. More than that, he’s the only lefty on the team. The Mariners could balance that a little better by looking at soft-tossing lefty Jose Quintana as a possibility for that fifth spot in the rotation.

For all intents and purposes, the Mariners are looking to trade both Chris Flexen and Marco Gonzales. I don’t know if that is going to happen, but for today’s article, that is the path I am going to assume. They send off both of those guys (or drop one to the pen and trade the other) and then bring in a starter with a higher ceiling.

Jose Quintana would be an interesting addition to the Mariners staff

Now, there is an argument that Jose Quintana is pretty much a left-handed Chris Flexen. You know what? I can’t really argue with that one. Quintana has had a much better strikeout rate in the past but has seen that drop coinciding with a drop in his velocity. It may seem odd, but if the Mariners can trade away Flexen and get a prospect in return, and then spend that same money (or a little more) on Quintana, then it’s something that Jerry might look in to.

Sure, he isn’t the name that Mariners fans want. I think a lot of people out there want them to go after a bigger name and truly try to create one of the nastiest rotations that we have seen in a long time. It’s a possibility if they really want to try and do it. However, I think 98% of people would agree that the money they would spend doing that would be better spent on hitting. The other 2% are the people who like to argue just for argument’s sake.

Quintana brings a good veteran presence as a soft-throwing lefty. I like bringing someone like that in to counter the hard-throwing righties that take up the majority of both the rotation and the bullpen. You know, like Marco Gonzales, but with a much higher ceiling.

Quintana put together a wonderful stretch while in St. Louis in the second half of last season after they acquired him from the Pirates. In 12 starts, he had a 2.01 ERA and 1.117 WHIP, solidifying the back half of their rotation. His fastball and curveball were great last year, but the changeup got shelled, having one of the worst run values in baseball.

It sounds like Quintana is likely looking for something short-term, just two years or so. It’s going to also be a deal in the teens per AAV.

For 2YR/26M, the Mariners should turn down the chance to get Jose Quintana

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Yeah, I know I made it sound like he was someone that they might bring in. I think there are better options out there for similar contract needs and AAV, and that the difference between him and someone like Flexen just isn’t enough to dish out 13M a year. The Mariners could spend their money better in other places, and although Jose Quintana is good, I don’t think he would be the right fit for the Mariners.

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