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The Yankees are reportedly interested in Jose Quintana

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the New York Yankees have shown interest in White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

It’s the latest in the White Sox’ ongoing selloff. But it has been nothing approaching a fire sale, as Chicago has restocked its farm system with top talent as a result of earlier trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. White Quintana does not have the reputation Sale has, he’s been one of baseball’s best and most consistent pitchers over the past several years and may be one of the most underrated players in all of baseball.

Quintana posted a 3.20 ERA with 181 strikeouts across 208 innings in 2016. Though it was his first season with double-digit wins, he has put up seasons basically like that one, like clockwork, for all five years of his career. He’s under contract through 2020 on terms that are very friendly to the club. His 2017 salary is $6 million, 2018 salary is $8.5 million and it goes to $10.5 million in 2019 with a club option at the same amount for 2020.

He’s very desirable and the Sox know it. The Yankees, if they want Quintana, will have to give up a great deal of talent to get him. Talent they do have, of course, by virtue of their own trades and minor league system restocking over the past couple of seasons.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.