The Angels made a move late Tuesday to begin shoring up their starting rotation, agreeing to sign left-hander José Quintana to a one-year, $8-million contract, said a person with knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to comment publicly.
The move reunites Quintana with Angels manager Joe Maddon and checks off part of a major point on the Angels’ offseason shopping list. Quintana pitched for the Cubs the second half of 2017 and the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons, compiling a record of 33-23.
In a videoconference one month ago, Maddon verbalized a desire to see first-year general manager Perry Minasian bring in two starting pitchers to shore up the major league rotation. Quintana, a veteran of nine seasons and one of baseball’s most durable pitchers, is the first one procured by Minasian.
Quintana, 31, comes to the Angels after 3½ seasons with the Cubs, for whom he produced a 4.24 earned-run average and struck out 420 over 82 games. He owns a career ERA of 3.73.
Fluke injuries limited Quintana to 10 innings across four games last season. The Colombia native cut his pitching hand while washing dishes during last year’s COVID-19 shutdown, an ailment that caused him to miss the season’s first month. Soon after his return, inflammation in his left lat sidelined him for more than two weeks. He returned in time to pitch in two more games for the Cubs.
Before the injury hampered campaign, Quintana had proved himself as one of the majors’ most dependable starters. He made no fewer than 31 starts from 2013 to 2019. During that span, only four pitchers in the big leagues threw more than Quintana’s 1,348⅔ innings.
Maddon, who managed the Cubs from 2015 to 2019, began watching Quintana up close after the Cubs acquired the one-time All-Star from the Chicago White Sox in July 2017.
Quintana, who turns 32 next week, joins an Angels starting rotation that also includes Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning and Shohei Ohtani. Patrick Sandoval and Jaime Barria are other options.
This isn’t the first time the Angels have taken a flier on a starter after a down year. Under general manager Billy Eppler, the Angels tried out several. The most recent was Julio Teheran, who earned a prorated portion of his $9-million pre-pandemic contract and went 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in 10 games last season.
Before Teheran’s disastrous tenure, Trevor Cahill and Matt Harvey performed poorly for the Angels in 2019. Cahill produced a 5.98 ERA while receiving paychecks on a $9-million contract. Harvey, who signed for $11 million, was released after giving up 48 runs in 12 starts with the Angels.