CHICAGO – Indeed, the White Sox and Cubs were willing to do a major trade after all.
On Thursday, the North Siders acquired pitcher Jose Quintana from the South Siders in exchange for Cubs minor league outfielder Eloy Jimenez, pitcher Dylan Cease, and infielders Matt Rose along with Bryant Flete.
The move is a major surprise to many who considered a trade between the Chicago teams unlikely. Yet the trade makes sense to both sides since the Cubs get an elite pitcher whom they have club control through 2020 while the White Sox add a quartet of prospects to an improving minor league system.
Quintana provides the Cubs with a much-need boost in the starting rotation, which has struggled in their defense of their World Series championship in 2017. While his numbers aren’t up to par for his career standards (4-8, 4.49 ERA), Quintana has shown the ability for strong control and put together long outings.
In the past four seasons, Quintana has over 200 innings each season with an ERA never over 4.00. During his five years with the White Sox, the pitcher has 890 strikeouts compared to 284 walks.
Meanwhile the South Siders get one of the top ten prospects in the major leagues in Jimenez. Ranked eighth overall by MLB.com, Jimenez is batting .271 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 2017 with Class A Myrtle Beach. It was the outfielder that Hahn gave plenty of praise during his post-trade conference call with reporters on Thursday.
Cease is another major part of the deal and is one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects in a heavy-hitter system. He’s 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA with the Single A South Bend Cubs in 2017.