Latest Update, Jan. 4
The Yankees are unlikely to acquire LHP Jose Quintana, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Rosenthal notes that the Yankees are less willing than other interested teams to give up their top prospects to land Quintana.
Previous Reports and Reaction, Dec. 27
The Yankees' trade talks with the White Sox regarding Quintana have been expanded to include RHP David Robertson, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today, however MLB.com's Case Kruth said discussions are not serious.
The addition of Robertson would only happen if the White Sox absorbed part of his contract, according to Nightengale.
The 31-year-old Robertson, who pitched for the Yankees from 2008 to 2014, will earn $12 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018, after which he is eligible for free agency.
He had a 3.47 ERA and 1.36 WHIP while striking out 75 batters in 62 1/3 innings (62 appearances) last season.
The Yankees have interest in trading for Quintana, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports recently reported, however New York is unwilling to deal prospects Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier to acquire him, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.
Quintana, 27, had a 3.20 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while striking out 181 batters in 208 innings (32 starts) last season.
Quintana is under contract through 2020. He'll earn $7 million this coming season, followed by $8.85 million in 2018, and $10.5 million in both 2019 and 2020.
Last month, I suggested that if the Yankees were to look into the trade market for a starting pitcher, they needed to focus on someone that had at least No. 2 starter-type quality production and specifically mentioned Quintana as an option.
Adding Robertson to the package would formulate a potent backend of the bullpen with Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman.
The Yankees lack a No. 2 behind Masahiro Tanaka, and Quintana can slot straight into the role. Far more important for the Yankees where it concerns trading the quality and quantity of prospects it would take to land Quintana, is his age (28 next season), cost ($35.6 million) and the number of years of control still ahead (four, which includes two option years).
Quintana would be spending his prime seasons in New York when the club truly expects to jump to the front of the pack.
By adding Robertson to the deal, the Yankees would significantly deepen their bullpen to the point that the questions in the rotation might be reduced. I wrote yesterday that the Yankees could create a deep bullpen by utilizing relievers who have the ability to provide more than three outs per appearance. Adding Robertson might be an option considering he held such a role when setting up Mariano Rivera for the Yankees.
The big question here is going to be the package of prospects it would take to consummate a deal.
If the Yankees are expecting the White Sox to pay some of Robertson's salary, that only adds to the prized prospects required to add Quintana. I also wonder if the Yankees are trying to move salary of their own in the deal -- possibly Brett Gardner to replace Adam Eaton, or Chase Headley so the White Sox can trade Todd Frazier.