Word is, the Chicago White Sox believe the perceived favorites Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates have been largely “passive” in their pursuits of Jose Quintana. If that’s the case, someone else such as the St. Louis Cardinals could sneak in and grab Quintana.

While the belief now is that Quintana won’t be traded until closer to the trade deadline, the Cardinals could be a sleeper team for Quintana. Word is, they have quietly showed interest in the White Sox pitching ace, and the Cardinals have the combination of young players and prospects to make it work.

St. Louis has drafted and developed well, and their stockpile of young players is decent. After the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, it is possible St. Louis may also have extra incentive to make a statement.

The Cardinals enter the season with a rotation headed by star right-hander Carlos Martinez, who signed an extension this offseason.