Mets signs Jose Quintana to two-year deal

The Mets and lefties Jose Quintana have agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal pending physical examination. He will earn a steady salary of $13 million each season.

Quintana, aged 34 in January, was a remarkably consistent and consistent member of the White Sox rotation during his first five seasons. He debuted in 2012 with 22 starts, three relief appearances and a 3.76 ERA. Over the next four seasons, he made at least 32 starts in each campaign while maintaining his ERA between 3.51 and 3.20.

Unfortunately, he had a few bumpy patches after that as his ERA climbed above 4.00 in three straight campaigns from 2017-2019, during which time Quintana was traded across town to the Cubs. A thumb injury in 2020 limited him to just 10 innings played in the shortened campaign. He signed with the Angels for 2021 but was shot in nine starts earlier in the year and placed in the bullpen.

For 2022, the Rebuild Pirates took a plane on Quintana with a one-year, $2 million deal. The hope was that he would return to old form, bring some veteran stability to the young rotation, and maybe morph into a trade chip by deadline. That plan couldn’t have gone any better as the southpaw made 20 starts for the Bucs and posted a 3.50 ERA. His strikeout rate of 20.6% was a little below average, but he coupled that with strong walk and ground ball rates of 7.2% and 45%, respectively. He and Chris Stratton were dealt to the Cardinals in a timely manner and Quintana continued its strong campaign in St. Louis. He made another 12 starts with a 2.01 ERA and finished the year with a 2.93 mark in 32 starts and 165 2/3 innings.

Quintana was then able to return to the free hand in a much stronger position than in his previous trips. Adding to his strong platform season, his mid-season trade made him unsuitable for a qualifying offer and his age made it unlikely he would be able to land a long contract. MLBTR was predicting a two-year, $24 million deal, with Quintana eventually coming just short of that.

For the Mets, they faced a large turnover in their pitching staff Jacob de Grom, Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker Reaching free agency, along with several helpers. deGrom has since joined the Rangers and Walker the Phillies. The Mets effectively replaced deGrom by signing Verlander and have now added Quintana to fill a middle or back rotation role. That gives the Mets a front four from Verlander, Max Scherzer, Carlo Carrasco and Quintana. You have some internal options to take fifth place such as: David Petersen and Tylor Megilbut it is also possible that they continue to pursue external approaches.

This signing brings the club’s payroll to $290 million for the next year, with a competitive balance sheet tax number of $301 million, according to Roster Resource. It’s unclear how much they plan to spend until the dust settles, but owner Steve Cohen has previously circulated $300 million as an approximate figure, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. In terms of the luxury tax, they are already past the fourth and highest penalty level, which will be $293 million next year. As a second payer, they are subject to escalating penalties, which means they pay 30% in taxes on spending between $233 million and $253 million, 42% between $253 million and $273 million, 75% between $273 million and $293 million, and 90% Pay % above the top step.

Ken Rosenthal and Will Sammon of The Athletic first reported that Quintana would join the Mets for $26 million over two years. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first added that it would split into even salaries of $13 million per year.

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