SAN DIEGO – Before leaving the Winter Meetings, the Mets made another signing that may not have completed their rotational buys, but at least brought it much closer to the end.
The team and José Quintana have agreed on a two-year contract worth $26 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. The club has not yet confirmed it as it is awaiting a physical examination.
Once the deal becomes official, it will give the Mets a starting five of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Quintana, Carlos Carrasco and either David Peterson or Tylor Megill. And the team may not be done shopping in that department just yet. The Mets are heavily linked to Japanese starter Kodai Senga, who would go after Scherzer and Verlander if New York can sign him.
Quintana, who will turn 34 in January, is coming off a resurgent 2022 season, going from a $2 million deal with the Pirates in November ’21 to starting Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series for the Cardinals 11 months later.
In between, the veteran left-hander posted a 2.93 ERA with 137 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings pitched, including a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts after Pittsburgh sent him to St. Louis in a four-player deal at the Trade Deadline. It was a strong bounce-back effort for a pitcher who recorded a 5.13 ERA in 244 innings of 2019-21 with the Cubs, Angels and Giants.
Born in Arjona, Colombia, Quintana earned his only All-Star selection with the White Sox in 2016, the latest in a streak of four consecutive 200-inning seasons. He produced a 3.35 ERA over that span.
The White Sox traded Quintana to the Cubs the following season in a deal that brought Dylan Cease and Eloy Jiménez to the South Side.
More than anything, Quintana provides a consistent source of innings for a club that desperately needs them. In addition to throwing more than 200 innings in a season four times, Quintana has accumulated at least 165 innings in the past 10 years.
In addition to starting the pitching, the Mets are still looking for ways to fill their bullpen with multiple relievers and to sign an outfielder — either Brandon Nimmo or someone like him.