The Chicago Cubs have acquired pitcher Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox, in a bombshell trade that seemingly came out of nowhere, being announced suddenly this morning by the White Sox Twitter feed.
In exchange for Quintana, the White Sox are getting outfielder Eloy Jimenez, pitcher Dylan Cease, first baseman Matt Rose and infielder Bryant Flete.
Quintana, 28, is under team control through the 2020 season, owed around $31 million for the three years after this one. After putting up ERAs from 3.20-3.51 from 2013-16, he’s struggled some this year, with a 4.49 ERA and a 4.01 FIP, a by-product of seeing his walk and home run rates go up a little. Still, Quintana was considered one of the best starting pitchers available on the trade market, with his team-friendly contract making him especially attractive.
Jimenez is the gem of the group the ChiSox received, a 20 year old consensus top-10 prospect who is slashing .271/.351/.490 for high-A Myrtle Beach. Cease appeared on the back end of the Baseball America top 100 midseason list, and is currently in the low-A Midwest League. Rose, 22, is also at Myrtle Beach, where he is slashing .227/.281/.481. Flete, 24, is also a Pelican, and the second baseman is slashing .305/.355/.425.
The Cubs have the same record as the Rangers, 43-45, and are 5.5 games back of the Brewers in the N.L. Central. They still have the ability to make up ground, however, and this move helps them both now and in the long-term, especially given the anticipated loss of Jake Arrieta after this season.
As for the White Sox, this was maybe a little lower than I anticipated. Jimenez is an elite prospect, and Cease is a back-end top 100 guy, but the other two players seem more like fringe prospects. Nevertheless, the White Sox now have added another high-ceiling high-impact talent in Jimenez to the players they scooped up in the offseason in the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades.