Cubs Trade Top Prospects to White Sox for Jose Quintana

The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs came into the All-Star break with a record of 43-45, tied for second place with the St. Louis Cardinals, 5 ½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs have clearly underperformed in the first half of the season, and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said the key to success in the second half was for the team to play better rather than to make trades.

Well apparently part of the answer is indeed to make trades. One of the Cubs needs is starting pitching, both now (Kyle Hendricks is on the disabled list) and in the future as starters John Lackey and Jake Arietta will be free agents after this season. Reports were out there that the Cubs were talking to the Detroit Tigers about pitching, but the team made a deal closer to home on July 13th, dealing for Chicago White Sox left hander Jose Quintana.

Quintana did not come cheaply; the Cubs traded four minor leaguers including top hitting prospect Eloy Jimenez and top hitting prospect Dylan Cease. But the Cubs have a lot of young talent, and you have to trade something of value to get something of value. Quintana had a slow start and is 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA, but don’t let that fool you. The 28 year old is highly regarded and was 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA for a pretty bad White Sox team last season. His contract also runs through the 2020 season, so he figures in the Cubs long term plans. The Cubs don’t want to go another 108 years in between World Series championships, and may be in the market for more trades yet before the trading deadline at the end of the month.

Here’s some more analysis of the deal:

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