Mets agree to two-year deal with LHP Jose Quintana

Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana / USA TODAY Sports/SNY Treated Image

The Mets have agreed to a two-year deal with LHP Jose Quintana worth $26 million, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Quintana, who turns 34 in January, had a strong 2022 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.

Even after signing Quintana, the Mets remain interested in landing Japanese ace Kodai Senga.

With Quintana on board, he joins a Mets rotation that includes Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Carlos Carrasco. If the Mets land Senga as well, he would fill out the starting five (and offer tons of upside) -- leaving David Peterson and Tylor Megill as valuable depth options.

In 165.2 innings over 32 starts last season, Quintana had a 2.93 ERA (2.99 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP with 137 strikeouts.

Quintana's 0.4 home runs allowed per nine led the league.

Oct 7, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game one of the Wild Card series for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium.
Oct 7, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game one of the Wild Card series for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Before his impressive 2022 campaign, Quintana struggled in 2021 (6.43 ERA and 1.73 WHIP), 2020 (4.50 ERA and 1.30 WHIP), and 2019 (4.68 ERA and 1.38 WHIP).

During his 11-year career with the Cardinals, Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, and White Sox, Quintana has a 3.75 ERA (3.62 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP with 1,532 strikeouts in 1.723.2 innings -- a rate of 8.0 strikeouts per nine.

Considering what other free agent starting pitchers have gotten in recent days -- Jameson Taillon's four year-deal with the Chicago Cubs was worth $71 million and Taijuan Walker's four-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies was worth $72 million -- the Mets could be getting a steal with Quintana if he can come close to replicating what he did in 2022.

And a look at Quintana's advanced numbers from last season via Baseball Savant show more good than bad.

He was near the bottom of the league in xBA and whiff percentage, but elite when it came to average exit velocity against and chase rate, and well above average in barrel percentage and hard hit percentage.