The Chicago Cubs took a head start on other major league baseball teams in looking for new starting pitching by trading for Jose Quintana with the Chicago White Sox for four prospects including Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez and two other minor leaguers.
Theo Epstein the president of baseball operations with the Cubs said the trade was not completed because of how the team played during the first half of the season. The Cubs start following the All-Star break on Friday 5 ½ games behind first place Milwaukee in the National League Central.
Epstein said the team was in just its early stages of enjoying a long run with a group of talented players such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell amongst others. The group, said Epstein, won the World Series and has a goal of winning more, but starting pitching was needed for that to happen.
The Cubs made the deal without moving any of their players on the 25-man current roster, which was their preference, said Epstein.
Epstein said that despite a poor first half of the season, we as an organization believe in the group of players and the team does not want to sell low on the members of its core and that it hopes to maintain and win more championships with.
Nevertheless, the Cubs did pay a big price by trading two of its top prospects in Jimenez and Cease who are now ranked No. 2 and 8 respectively in a loaded system of the White Sox.
With the latest trade, the Sox have loaded up on additional elite prospects. Overall, Jimenez an outfielder, who is just 20, is No. 8 in baseball as a prospect. Cease, who is 21, is the overall No. 63 prospect as a pitcher.
The deal is one more part of the White Sox huge rebuilding. The club how has nine of the Top 100 prospects in the game, including No. 1 overall Yoan Moncada, acquired from the Boston Red Sox in last year’s trade for pitcher Chris Sale.
Quintana will make his debut with the Cubs on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles on the road. He was in his sixth season with the Sox and was the No. 1 starter for them this season.
The southpaw was just 4-8 with an ERA of 4.49 with 109 strikeouts in 104 plus innings across 18 starts.
April and May were difficult for Quintana, but in five starts during June his ERA was 1.78.