Chicago has seven quality starting pitchers going into 2018, and most of them are locked in for a couple of years. Jon Lester is set through 2021, Yu Darvish has player options through 2023, and Kyle Hendricks has two years of arbitration eligibility. On top of those three, Cole Hamels is signed through this season and Mike Montgomery is entering his first year of arbitration.
Tyler Chatwood signed a three-year deal last offseason, and while he struggled the Cubs have him for two more years swinging between the bullpen and rotation.
Chicago indicated earlier in the offseason they were willing to move players to clear salary and add pieces to their farm system. They have just one prospect in MLB Pipeline’s top-100 rankings.
They’ve made a handful of minor moves but did nothing at the winter meetings.
The likeliest player Chicago could move is Quintana given he has two years of control at a decent value. Chatwood’s contract is stuck in their books for two years and Darvish won’t opt out of any of his remaining years.
Montgomery showed he can work out of the rotation with a 3.69 ERA in 19 starts, filling in as the number five guy, assuming Darvish is healthy.
While Quintana is young and controllable, he’s expendable coming off a down season, and Philadelphia has the player equity to acquire him.