Cubs exercise option on Quintana, claim LHP off waivers

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Photo: Eric Hartline / USA Today
Photo: Eric Hartline / USA Today

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today exercised their 2019 club contract option on left-handed pitcher José Quintana and claimed left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.

Quintana, who turns 30 in January, went 13-11 with a 4.03 ERA (78 ER/174.1 IP) in 32 starts in his first full season with the Cubs last year. He reached 32 starts for the sixth season in a row and matched his career high in wins. Acquired from the White Sox on July 13, 2017, Quintana has gone 20-14 with a 3.93 ERA (113 ER/258.2 IP) in 46 starts with the Cubs overall and is one of only four southpaws in all of baseball to reach 20 wins since the 2017 All-Star Break, joining teammate Jon Lester (26 wins), Tampa Bay’s Ian Snell (26 wins) and New York’s J.A. Happ (24 wins).

The southpaw was a 2016 All-Star with the White Sox and is 70-68 with a 3.60 ERA (525 ER/1,314.0 IP) in 218 major league appearances, all but three as a starter, covering his seven major league campaigns with the White Sox (2012-17) and Cubs (2017-18).

Vasto, 26, is 12-12 with 26 saves and a 3.79 ERA (87 ER/206.2 IP) in 180 minor league relief appearances covering five minor league seasons in the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals organizations. He made his major league debut in 2018 and pitched in the majors with both clubs, combining to go 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA (4 ER/4.1 IP) in six relief outings, including a 2.45 ERA (1 ER/3.2 IP) in five outings with the Royals in September. Vasto went 3-1 with three saves and a 3.08 ERA (13 ER/38.0 IP) in 38 Triple-A relief appearances last season.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Vasto was originally selected by the Rockies in the 24th Round of the 2014 Draft. He was traded by the Rockies to the Royals for catcher Drew Butera on August 31, 2018.

Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 35 players.

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