The Angels added to their starting rotation yesterday after signing lefty Jose Quintana to a one-year, $8 million deal.
Quintana comes to Los Angeles after a disappointing 2020 season with the Chicago Cubs. The lefty needed thumb surgery in spring training, putting his whole season out of whack. When he was ready to pitch, Quintana was mostly used in relief appearances through four games with one start. Within those five appearances, Quintana had a 4.50 ERA with 12 strikeouts in only ten innings of work. That’s a small sample size within an already short season.
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In 2017, Quintana was traded to the Cubs from the White Sox in exchange for Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. Quintana didn’t look like the same pitcher he was on the Southside of Chicago, posting a 4.28 ERA in 544 innings to go along with 529 strikeouts. He also had an ERA+ of 100, which put him right at league average.
The Angels finally acquired a starting pitcher after signing Jose Quintana but will still need rotation help to compete.
His career with the White Sox was a lot better within the years 2013-2016. During this span, Quintana managed a 3.35 ERA in 814.2 innings pitched to go along with an ERA+ of 119.
Angels manager Joe Maddon and Quintana have a history during their time with the Cubs from 2017 to 2020. While the connection may be strong, the Angels desperately need him to pitch like his old days as a White Sox. The main problem for the Halos is starting pitching, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Quintana will also be working with pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who has a known track record of developing pitchers from his days with Cleveland. So far for the Halos, the only pitcher that has taken a step forward with Callaway is Dylan Bundy, who was also linked to a report about using a substance to change his spin rate.
In a video call with reporters from December, Maddon mentioned he would like to see the team get at least two starting pitchers. Quintana marks one. The one question now will be, who is that other starting pitcher?
This answer lies within the organization’s finances. The Halos are currently around ~$24.07 million away from the luxury tax threshold. Whether the Angels have enough money to pull off a Trevor Bauer signing remains to be seen. General manager Perry Minasian, still needs one more starting pitcher but has taken care of nearly all team needs this offseason.
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We’ll have to wait and see if this deal pans out for the Angels or if it’s another one-year bust that the team has is known for. If the team can get Quintana back to his prime pitching days, he could be an effective No. 2 or 3 starter in the rotation. Quintana would also make an excellent pairing to starter Dylan Bundy if he can repeat his stellar year of 2020.
Overall, this should be viewed as a good move for the Angels, who have been desperate for starting pitching. But, this shouldn’t be the move to complete their off-season by any means.