White Sox trade Jose Quintana to Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete

Updated: July 13, 2017

A stunning development in the trade world as the Chicago Cubs have acquired Jose Quintana from the White Sox. Quintana was thought to be the highest profile player on the market this year, but it remained to be seen if the Sox would do a deal with their crosstown rivals. As it turns out, they would and they would do excellently in the deal.

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Jose Quintana is having a bit of a down year, but has looked much better of late. He has a 3.41 ERA in his career and should see an added boost by moving to the National League. He’ll help shore up a Cubs rotation that has really struggled this year with regressions from almost everyone. A lot of people have chalked this up to tiredness from last year’s World Series run and while that may be true, it is July and the team is two games under .500. It’s past time to wake up.

It’ll be interesting to see if this move is enough to springboard the Cubs past the surprising Brewers in the NL Central. The Brewers have a 4.5 lead on the them in the division and that is not fluky at all. They have played much better with a +45 run differential compared to the Cubs run differential of +0. A strong second half from Quintana would help a lot, but contributions from anyone besides Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Jon Jay would probably help a lot more.

With Jake Arrieta heading for free agency this winter and unlikely to be back, you have to think that Quintana was partially acquired as his replacement so this move is as much about next year as it is this one. This gives the Cubs a young starter which is something they’ve been lacking with such a veteran heavy rotation.

The haul for the White Sox is big though. According to Keith Law, the Cubs gave up their #1 prospect in the homerun hitting Eloy Jimenez and their #3 prospect in Dylan Cease. While both of these players are still a ways away from the majors, they look to be solid MLB players in the future. Cease is carrying a 12.9 K/9 in Class-A while Jimenez has a .841 OPS in High-A with a .490 slugging and homeruns like this.

While not quite as high profile, Matt Rose has looked decent thus far and has 14 homeruns in High-A Myrtle Beach currently. Bryant Flete is also at High-A Myrtle Beach (although as a 24-year old) and has hit .305/.355/.425 thus far this season. While neither projects as a world-beater like Cease or Jimenez, they could potentially be major league contributors at some point.

No matter how you dice it, this is a huge haul for the White Sox who now quite possibly have the best farm system in the game. By Baseball America‘s numbers, they now have seven of the top 100 prospects in the game and two of the top five. The White Sox are going to be very good in a couple of years and the Cubs may one day live to regret this trade.

For this year and the next few, this puts the Cubs right back where we all thought they would be: in contention. If they can somehow sneak into the playoffs this season, they would be very dangerous once again with Quintana and Jon Lester leading the rotation. And if they don’t? They’ll start 2018 as the favorite to win the NL Central once again. The rich get richer and all that.

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