Cubs could use Albert Almora in trade for Sonny Gray

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 16, 2017

Hey there, Chicago. That was fun.

Hahn, knowing the call was about the most anticipated trade in Chicago baseball this season, ducked behind an exhibit to talk specifics.

Somehow the trade flew under the radar of the national media and these two Reddit users were the first to find out about the Chicago White Sox trading starter Jose Quintana across town to the Cubs for a haul of prospects.

The initial shock didn't stem from the player swap, but because the Cubs and Sox actually did something this bold.

They were in a bit of a predicament. Their production has just taken a hit. His ERA is 2.92 under the lights this year.

Quintana is one of just six pitchers who have thrown at least 200 innings each of the past four years. "Jose Quintana probably is more valuable for us at this moment in time than he is to the White Sox". After a rough first half, it was important to tell the fan base that they weren't content with how they had played and made a big move before the start of the second half. And it certainly wasn't good enough for the Cubs to repeat as World Series champs, which is pretty much the only goal that matters at this point.

Quintana, 28, is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 18 starts this season, his sixth with the White Sox.

The White Sox also acquired the No. 63 prospect in starter Dylan Cease - and all he's done is strike out over 12 batters per nine with a 2.54 ERA in three Minor League stops. The reason the price was so steep is Quintana's contact situation is very team-friendly; he's under club control through 2020, should the club kick in no-brainer options for 2019 and 2020 (both $10.5 million per). So now teams will have to consider really cutting their farm system in order to get that piece they need for a run.

But Quintana is only part of the answer to the Cubs' rotation woes. After winning the World Series in 2016, Chicago is 43-45 and languishing in second place in the weak NL Central, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. So overall, the defense should improve behind Quintana which means he should approach his FIP numbers (4.01) and have a better chance of adding some wins for the first time in his career (50-54).

Something else to keep in mind.

Chicago boasted one of the best pitching rotation in baseball last season with Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey, and closer Aroldis Chapman. The Cubs signed Jimenez for $2.8 million on August 1, 2013 as a foreign free agent. The organization has drafted well and assembled players to keep this team competitive for years to come.

The announcement put an end to 7 months of speculation about where Quintana might end up.

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