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With Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito on the verge of becoming free agents, the Giants need a good long-term starter.
Twenty-four-year-old Jose Quintana is a great option for the Giants. Quintana currently resides on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox, and he's done a good job there. He currently boasts a 3.86 ERA, which would rank second among San Francisco's starters.
Quintana is holding opponents to a .244 batting average, and he's inducing weak contact. His K/9 rate is 6.43, but batters are hitting just .266 on balls in play. That shows that there has been some luck involved, but it also shows that opponents haven't been hitting the ball well off of Quintana.
The southpaw has let opponents hit 10 home runs off of him, but he plays in a hitter-friendly park. According to ESPN Park Factors, U.S. Cellular has been the ninth-best park for hitting home runs, which never helps a pitcher.
AT&T Park is 28th on that list. If Quintana played in San Francisco, his 10.5 percent HR/FB rate would likely decrease.
He doesn't overpower batters, but he forces weak contact. Quintana isn't afraid to pitch inside, and he can jam batters. Over his two-year major league career, he has induced a ground ball in a whopping 45.5 percent of his at-bats.
Quintana hasn't allowed more than four earned runs in any start this year, and he has only thrown 37.7 percent of his pitches for balls. He can hit 94 mph with his fastball, and he can throw it inside to jam hitters. Even if Quintana makes location mistakes, he would be bailed out by AT&T Park.
The White Sox are 8.5 games behind the mighty Detroit Tigers, and they're likely going to let go of some key pieces. Jake Peavy could be dealt at the deadline, but Quintana is younger and has had a better year.
The Giants have some depth in their farm system, and the White Sox are looking for some future starters. San Francisco won't part with Kyle Crick or Clayton Blackburn, but it has enough depth to make a deal happen.
San Francisco traded Conor Gillaspie, who wasn't doing anything with the Giants, to Chicago this offseason. Gillaspie is among the team leaders in batting average, and he has a respectable 0.8 WAR in just 166 at-bats.
If the Giants gave up an outfielder, such as Cole Gillespie or Francisco Peguero, in addition to a stellar pitcher, there's a good chance the White Sox would agree. Quintana isn't an ace, but the Giants don't need an ace. However, they have some prospects with high ceilings.
Chicago has a dominant pitching prospect in Erik Johnson, but it lacks pitching depth in the farm. The Giants could replenish that depth by giving up someone like Blach while also letting go of another Gillespie-like player, which would be a fair deal.
Quintana isn't an ace, but he has the consistency the Giants need. In addition, if the Giants traded for him, he'd be with the team for a long time. Quintana is underrated, and the last-place White Sox can afford to trade him to boost their offense and add more depth to the farm system.