Earlier today, Dave Dombrowski and John Farrell announced that David Price sustained some type of injury in his elbow/forearm and will receive a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, who is currently at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. If our fears are met, David Price will probably be out for the season with a Tommy John injury, and we will probably not see him dawn a Red Sox uniform on a major league mound for at least a year, probably longer.
After this news hit the media waves, people started to project what the Red Sox would do in the starting rotation if he is indeed lost for the season. ESPN's Buster Olney noted that the best available free agent pitcher is probably Doug Fister, who could help ease the pain of losing David Price, but he also mentioned a possible trade target who's name many fans will recognize.
I'm not sure what Olney means by industry speculation, but I am guessing people are just trying to start rumors and there is no concrete evidence that Dave Dombrowski is on the phone with the Chicago White Sox again. After the blockbuster deal for Chris Sale, the Red Sox farm system is pretty thin at the moment. The Red Sox boast Rafael Devers, a budding star at third base, and Jason Groome, who has been compared to Clayton Kershaw, but after these two, legitimate prospects are hard to come by.
Andrew Benintendi and Sam Travis will soon lose their prospect status, as they are expected to help the big league team this season as the Red Sox hope to win another A.L. East divisional crown. After these four players, the Red Sox have a pretty mediocre farm system and most of the names Boston would be willing to trade will probably not entice the White Sox.
Quintana has been one of the most underrated pitchers in the game since he became a full-time starter in Chicago during the 2012 season. In 2014, Quintana signed a five-year extension worth $26.5 million, which is nothing for a top-end of the rotation pitcher nowadays. Last season, Quintana was named as an All-Star, going 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 208 innings.
There are a lot of connections between the Red Sox and Quintana that make me unable to just brush off this simple statement from Olney. The Red Sox were engaged in trade talks with the White Sox about a potential Jose Quintana trade during last year's Trade Deadline, but did not want to part with Jackie Bradley Jr. With the addition of Chris Sale, the Red Sox have a guy that is familiar with the White Sox' system, as well as a player that may make Quintana feel more comfortable if he were to come here. Furthermore, the White Sox seem to be very willing to listen to trade offers for Quintana, as it was reported a mere few days ago that "at least three teams" were in "daily" trade talks with the White Sox, according to SB Nation, including the New York Yankees.
If the Red Sox do make this move, it will make the big league club as close to a super team as you can get for the next three seasons, especially if David Price is able to return fully healthy for the 2018 season. A starting rotation of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Jose Quintana, and David Price would have four legitimate #1s. It would be extremely fun to see the Red Sox compete with the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, especially in a different way, as we are used to seeing Boston mash the ball out of the ballpark to win games.
However, the Red Sox have to not overreact, regardless of how the David Price news falls. If Price is lost for the season, the Red Sox should still win the A.L. East and make a decent run in the playoffs, they may just not have World Series aspirations anymore. A move for Jose Quintana would be a massive overreaction and would destroy the Red Sox' farm system, which was been brewing for the last half decade. What is to say the next Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, or Mookie Betts is somewhere in the Sox' system just waiting for a shot?