So that happened.
It is so nice to see everyone in town getting along so well. This trade just made so much sense for both sides of town. I just never thought it would happen. Thankfully, the GM on the south side is more interested in building an organization rather than about crosstown silliness.
The Cubs have been looking to acquire a controlled young arm ever since they entered this winning window. I thought that getting one this summer was possible, but most of the names connected to Cubs weren't the likes of Verlander, Gray, and Samardzija. I also anticipated the price may be too rich and risky to land the Gray types, let alone Jose Quintana.
I figured White Sox GM Rick Hahn would have to literally don a ski mask to deal with the Cubs (See Theo Epstein's comments on that the ask for Chris Sale started with Kris Bryant). Yet, a good old fashioned baseball trade happened. Color me both tickled and surprised. Theo Epstein seemed pleasantly surprised himself.
I am not overjoyed to see prospects like Eloy Jimenez leave the Cubs organization, but that is the minimum price paid to land a top of the rotation starter under 30 years old with 3 years of control left. Just be thankful this deal didn’t require one of the current young MLB assets.
An evaluator pointed out the other day that Epstein would soon have to make the choice on which currency would be less painful to part with to land arms, money or prospects. For now the answer obviously is prospects. Yet, Quintana’s deal is so financially sweet, it will make any plunge into free agency this winter a little less painful. Not to mention it leaves more money for the likes of Bryant, Javy Baez, and company down the road.
The Cubs could run out a potential front end rotation next year of Jon Lester, Quintana and say an Alex Cobb without further depleting their system. For those who thought Epstein would either stand pat or even sell this summer; they simply underestimated his competitiveness. Especially in a championship window.
Yet, this ultimately is about the big picture. Certainly it fits in the apparent 4 yearish window the Cubs are in until the kiddos get paid. This is much more about that than reacting to an ugly first half. Yet, with Quintana and the return of Kyle Hendricks looming, this just maybe the boost this club needed for a mentally refreshed second half run at the division.
I've been told that the thought of acquiring pitching can make Epstein a little bit anxious. Bats are much more predictable and reliable for this outfit thus far. Yet, when it comes to Quintana, established and reliable are two words that apply. Quintana, is a safer gamble than most. Lefties who have low maintenance deliveries seem to appeal to the Cubs front office a lot like their biggest gamble so far in Lester.
The Cubs kept their nucleus in tact, and still added to it. Meanwhile, the White Sox are somewhat following Epstein and Hoyer's blueprint they laid out for them. All it took was a text message from another smart baseball guy in town.