By Richard Kagan
Trades like this normally don’t happen in Chicago. The Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are city rivals and one doesn’t go out its way to “help” the other team. However, in this case, both teams got what it wanted.
The Chicago Cubs got a proven left-handed starting pitcher for at least 3 + seasons in Jose Quintana, who for a while, was the best starter who never got run support. Finally, last season he made the All-Star team. He is a steady, reliable pitcher with an unflappable disposition. He has averaged 32 starts and pitched over 200 innings in the last four seasons. His career record is 50-54 but if the Sox had scored more runs for him, it would be better.
This season he got off to a slow start and was hit around the park in the early spring. But he has settled down and his ERA is now a 4.49 and dropping. He’s got some very good starts in him and figures to get approximately 14 starts this season. He will stabilize a pitching staff that was floundering. Add Quintana and take off Montgomery to the starters. You have Arrieta, Lester, Hendricks, and Quintana. That is a good front-line staff. Montgomery can be your spot starter.
To get Quintana, the Cubs gave up some very good minor league prospects in OF Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, a pitcher who register 100 mph on the stun-gun. Cease threw a no-hitter earlier this season in the minors. Those two players may be several years away from the majors. The Cubs also have up two lower level prospects in Class A.
What this means for the Cubs:
They became relevant again. They now trail the Brewers by 5.5 games in the NL Central and this gives them an honest chance to try to close the gap. Cubs President Theo Epstein tried just about every trick in the book this season to tweak his team. He didn’t use the trade gambit until now. Quintana is a solid starting pitcher who will fill the gap when Jon Lester retires.
What this means for the White Sox:
The White Sox had a barren farm system last season. They traded ace Chris Sale and CF Adam Eaton and now highly sought Jose Quintana. They got some excellent young talent in their farm system who will change the complexion of the Sox for years to come.