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Jose Quintana dazzles in Cubs debut

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Jose Quintana‘s first impression on the Cubs was an impressive one, as the lefty blanked the Orioles over seven shutout innings on Sunday afternoon in a 8-0 win. He limited the opposition to three hits without issuing a walk and striking out 12 on 100 pitches. Carl Edwards, Jr. relieved him to start the eighth inning. The Cubs’ offense had scored six runs, including two on a home run by Kris Bryant in the fourth inning.

Quintana’s performance on Sunday marked only the fourth time this season a Cubs starter tossed seven or more shutout innings and it’s only the second time it’s been done by a Cub this season with double-digit strikeouts.

Quintana, 28, joined the Cubs on pace to have the worst season of his career. Over 18 starts, he compiled a 4.49 ERA with a 109/40 K/BB ratio in 104 1/3 innings. He hadn’t finished a season with an ERA higher than 3.76 since debuting in 2012.

The Cubs acquired Quintana from the White Sox on Thursday in exchange for four minor leaguers, including Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. Quintana is under contract for $8.85 million next season and the Cubs have options worth $10.5 million for the ensuing two seasons with $1 million buyouts.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.