Nearly one week after pitcher Jose Quintana posted one of the worst lines you’ll see in a spring training game, the left-hander and the Chicago White Sox agreed to a five-year contract extension worth up to $26.5 million.
Quintana’s Cactus League performance had raised some eyebrows. Most alarming was his outing on March 18, during which he faced nine batters and allowed all of them to reach base. He gave up three singles, two doubles, a triple, a home run and two walks. All nine baserunners came around to score.
Granted, it’s spring training and perhaps Quintana was working out some issues on the mound in preparation for the regular season. In particular, manager Robin Ventura highlighted Quintana having problems with his cutter. However, the White Sox didn’t seem overly concerned, even before Quintana threw five scoreless innings in his next spring start on Sunday. The team seized the opportunity to sign their 25-year-old pitcher who’s performed well in his first two major league seasons to a long-term deal.
As mentioned, the contract could be worth $26.5 million. That depends on whether or not Quintana qualifies for “Super Two” status after the 2014 season and is eligible for a fourth year of arbitration. If Quintana is sent to the minors this season and doesn’t log enough service time for that fourth year of arbitration eligibility, his deal will be worth $21 million. Quintana was set to make $550,000 this season, but will now be bumped up to $850,000.
CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes reports that the contract also includes two club options: a $10.5 million deal for 2019 and an $11.5 million package for 2020. Those options would buy out Quintana’s first two years of free agency. Altogether, the deal could be a seven-year, $48.5 million package. Locking down the team’s likely No. 2 starter for less than $7 million per season over the next five years should be quite a bargain for the White Sox.
Last season, Quintana went 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 33 starts, throwing 200 innings and notching 164 strikeouts (equaling a rate of 7.4 Ks per nine frames). He had 17 no-decisions for the last-place White Sox, who finished 63-99. In his first two MLB seasons, Quintana has compiled a 15-13 record and 3.61 ERA with a strikeout rate of 6.6 per nine innings.