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Jose Quintana-Rangers rumor bubbles up, pops

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If you think the White Sox are trying to reignite the trade market, you’re not alone

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday afternoon, the dormant Jose Quintana rumor mill stirred when Bob Nightengale brought a less-familiar team to the forefront.

The Rangers have occasionally surfaced due to their need for pitching and some young players of note — Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor, Joey Gallo, Leody Taveras among them — but that’s not a particularly exciting combination for the White Sox’ needs. Odor might be a great co-headliner under other circumstances, but the Sox are grooming Yoan Moncada for second base, so that doesn’t seem like the best use of resources. The Rangers don’t appear to trust Gallo based on their history of usage, and Taveras is 18 years old, so any combination just comes up short of compelling.

That’s why the Rangers haven’t been near the forefront of Quintana discussions. That’s also why it was a little suspicious that they could somehow step it up. Combine it with Nightengale’s friendly history with the White Sox front office, and it came off more like a call for the market to assemble — I’m looking at you, the AL West’s Houston Astros — more than a straightforward honest-to-goodness possibility.

The instinct was seconded by the Dallas News’ Evan Grant, who couldn’t detect any sort of renewed vigor from his beat:

The Rangers have long coveted Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana, but it does not appear they are making a renewed push to land him, despite a Wednesday afternoon report to the contrary.

And you don’t often see this from a beat writer:

In deciphering trade rumors, it's often important to look for an ulterior motive behind the leak. In this case, there may be reason for a leak to spring from Chicago. Houston has been the most aggressive team in pursuing the 28-year-old lefty, who can be under club control through 2020 at very team-friendly contract terms. But those talks appear to have been stalled. News of an increased offer from the Rangers could act to spur Houston into upping its offer.

Grant goes on to mention that the Astros received more resources to make a Quintana trade possible — $2 million and two extra draft picks the Astros received from the Cardinals at the end of the league’s investigation into St. Louis’ scouting director hacking into Houston’s system.

At any rate, this is the life cycle of a Jose Quintana trade rumor distilled to its essence.

  1. Attempt to bring a team that isn’t the Astros or Pirates into it.
  2. Denial from third party.
  3. Repeat.

And this direct, guileless approach resonates with me on multiple levels.

This all reminded me of something else I’d meant to do during top-100 prospect season. Besides scanning the top-100 prospect lists to see where the White Sox’ minor leaguers ended up, I wanted to collect the assessments of top prospects among the most-rumored teams.

MLB.com

Astros

  • RHP Francis Martes (20)
  • OF Kyle Tucker (35)
  • RHP David Paulino (54)
  • RHP Forrest Whitley (84)

Pirates

  • RHP Tyler Glasnow (9)
  • OF Austin Meadows (10)
  • 1B/OF Josh Bell (27)
  • RHP Mitch Keller (48)
  • SS Kevin Newman (59)

Rangers

  • OF Leody Taveras (55)
  • LHP Yohander Mendez (56)

Yankees

  • SS Gleyber Torres (3)
  • OF Clint Frazier (24)
  • OF Blake Rutherford (37)
  • OF Aaron Judge (45)
  • SS Jorge Mateo (47)
  • RHP: James Kaprielian (58)
  • LHP Justus Sheffield (79)

Keith Law:

Astros

  • Martes (37)
  • Tucker (57)
  • RHP Franklin Perez (66)
  • Whitley (78)

Pirates

  • Meadows (9)
  • Bell (14)
  • Keller (16)
  • Glasnow (25)
  • Newman (33)
  • 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (74)

Rangers

  • Taveras (35)
  • RHP Ariel Jurado (64)
  • Mendez (75)

Yankees

  • Torres (4)
  • Rutherford (22)
  • Frazier (27)
  • Kaprielian (28)
  • Judge (44)
  • Sheffield (88)