It was last offseason, prior to the White Sox dealing Sale to the Red Sox on December 6 in a deal that netted them top prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.
In return, the White Sox receive the Cubs' top two prospects, outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, as well as minor league infielders Bryant Flete and Matt Rose.
The disappointing thing is that this is just scratching the surface of the rotation's problems. "I just think it's the price of doing business for acquiring this type of quality, controllable starting pitcher". "That or you don't understand the value of a 200-inning, 30-plus starting left-hander with a 3.5 ERA in a hitters" ballpark.' There is no devaluation of Jose Quintana". From 2015 to 2016, he had a slightly better ERA+ than Sale did.
Even better for Quintana and his owners was the increase in his strikeout rate from June 1 and on.
The Cubs could use consistently good. They did it because they need pitching now, with John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks on the disabled list, and will need pitching in the near future, with Lester and Lackey aging and Arrieta headed for free agency.
To some Cubs fans, this trade may seem reminiscent of the one which brought Aroldis Chapman to the club last season. Should the Cubs hang around with the Brewers (and maybe the Cardinals and/or Pirates, who knows?) in the NL Central, one game can make a huge difference. The Cubs needed a solid starting pitcher and they not only receive that in Quintana, but they also get him with a team friendly contract. As revenue grows, that might be backup-catcher money by 2020. Having Quintana and Jon Lester as a 1-2 in the rotation is a terrifying prospect for teams, especially clubs like the Dodgers that have difficulty in hitting left-handed pitching.
"The question you ask is: Am I a better team by making the trade?" I was just about to post an article in which I said there was no way Quintana would be coming to the Cubs.
So what about Jimenez?
Quintana is about as great of an answer as you can get. Nobody's got Aaron Judge's power, but Jimenez could end up in the next tier of big man-beasts with the likes of Miguel Sanó and Joey Gallo. "But ultimately the Cub deal was far and away the most attractive given the potential impact of the prospects in that deal". Baseball American ranks Jimenez, an outfielder, as the No. 5 prospect in baseball. Now, Hahn likely put out calls to other teams like the Houston Astros before pulling a deal with the Cubs, but it's still relatively early for big moves.
To get one of them, even if one becomes available, would mean trading from the Cubs' major league core.
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