The KC Royals could think seriously about veteran starter José Quintana.
There isn’t much, if anything, not to like about José Quintana, whose 2022 rejuvenation means he’ll command attention on this winter’s free agent market.
Quintana established himself as a big league-caliber starter by winning 13 games three times between 2016-2019, but missed most of the COVID-shortened 2020 season after lacerating a thumb ligament. He joined the Angels as a free agent in 2021, missed almost a month with a shoulder issue, went to San Francisco on an August waiver claim, and finished the campaign 0-3, 6.43. The Pirates signed him as a free agent not long after the season ended.
Quintana improved almost immediately. He went 3-5, 3.50 for the mediocre Pirates before St. Louis, seeking stretch run pitching help, picked him up via a trade deadline deal with the Bucs.
He was what the Cards needed. Quintana went 3-2, 2.01 in 12 post-trade starts, then started the first game of the National League Wild Card Series and pitched 5.1 scoreless, two-hit innings; he left with the contest tied and didn’t figure in the decision when St. Louis lost after infamously allowed Philadelphia six runs in the ninth.
Like he was for the Cardinals, Quintana could be what the Royals need, especially if Zack Greinke doesn’t return—he’s a legitimate major league rotation piece, a veteran of 11 seasons in The Show who knows how to pitch and how to win.
Quintana also has excellent control (career 2.6 BB/9) and postseason experience with the Cubs and Cards.
Kansas City ought to give Quintana a serious look.