MLB Rumors: With Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs Out of Excuses
16 July, 2017, 05:29 | Author: Leticia Walters
With a void in the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation, the ball club shipped rights to a trio of its Class A-Advanced prospects - infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete, as well as the top player in its farm system, Eloy Jimenez - and Low-A right-hander Dylan Cease to the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox. And to this point, that's exactly what 2017 has looked like on the North Side.
They were in a bit of a predicament.
For the second year in a row, Theo Epstein and the ChicagoCubs gave up way too much for a pitcher. That group, which was stellar in 2016 and had similar expectations this season, has been mediocre (and that's being kind) in 2017. Their production has just taken a hit. If the season were to end today, it'd be his highest ERA. Kyle Hendricks just returned from the DL, but he went from an NL-best 2.13 ERA past year to 4.09 in his 11 starts in 2017. Quintana has a 2.80 career ERA in July. You don't just dump those pieces out of a rotation easily.
"Ultimately, that yieled not only this offer we got from the Cubs but others we felt were above that line", he said. "But certainly part of what we're trying to accomplish here is accumulate as much talent as possible knowing that things happen". After 5 terrific years to start off his White Sox career, Quintana, who expected to be dealt during the offseason along with Chris Sale, has been playing the worse baseball of his career: 4.49 ERA, 1.323 WHIP and an terrible 2.73 SO/W ratio. Cease was 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA for Single-A South Bend. Going into the All-Star break below.500 in a awful division despite relatively good team health, THAT created the urgency. And if getting Quintana enables the Cubs to accomplish some of that work now while still being able to compete this season, that's great. The Cubs start following the All-Star break on Friday 5 ½ games behind first place Milwaukee in the National League Central. We need to play well coming out of the gates here.
Something else to keep in mind. "I'm going to help this team". He's also under team control through next season, when he'd then become a free agent. Quintana is under contract through 2020, earning $8.85 million, $10.5 million and $11.5 million in 2018-20.
So if he's not in the long-term plans, maybe he's not in the short-term plans, either. "But ultimately the Cub deal was far and away the most attractive given the potential impact of the prospects in that deal". Though they paid a high price in prospects, the Cubs didn't have to include any current major leaguers to get Quintana. 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).
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