The Chicago Cubs have acquired starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a package highlighted by top prospect Eloy Jimenez, the teams announced Thursday. The deal is a rare example of two teams from the same city hooking up for a monster trade.
The complete package heading to the White Sox includes Jimenez, right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, first baseman Matt Rose, and second baseman Bryant Flete. Jimenez and Cease were considered two of the best prospects in the Cubs’ system.
Jimenez was rated as the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America just a few days ago. He joins Yoan Moncada in a stacked White Sox system that now looks like one of the best in MLB. Moncada, who was acquired as part of the Chris Sale trade last year, currently ranks as the No. 1 prospect in baseball.
Now the White Sox have moved both pieces from their old one-two punch at the top of the rotation, but in the process, they’ve started a youth movement that could lead to great things on the South Side. The team watched the Cubs ride a base of elite young talent to a World Series last year, and now it’s trying to emulate that with Moncada and Jimenez leading the way.
For the Cubs, Quintana is an immediate upgrade to a rotation that’s struggled with consistency this season. His overall results have been down this season, too, with a 4.49 ERA over 104.1 innings, but his underlying numbers indicate that he’s pitched better than that.
From 2013-16, Quintana posted four straight 200-inning seasons with an overall ERA of 3.35, so he’s been durable and effective for the White Sox. Now he’ll try to bring that to the North Side, where injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued the rotation. With high expectations for the Cubs this season, they’re trying to get back on track now before it’s too late.
The Cubs also get Quintana at a very affordable rate through 2020. He’s making just $7 million this season and $8.85 million next season. For 2019 and 2020, the Cubs will hold team options worth a total of $22 million. If they buy out Quintana in either year, it’ll cost them $1 million.
That’s part of why the cost for Quintana was so high, but the Cubs had the urgency to make this kind of move. Now it’s the White Sox who are starting to build up an exciting group of young pieces in Chicago, too.