He’s no longer a member of the White Sox, but Jose Quintana isn’t moving far away.
The White Sox traded their dependable, cost-controlled starting pitcher to the Cubs on Thursday morning in exchange for four prospects, including highly touted outfielder Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez is the No. 5-rated prospect in baseball, according to BaseballAmerica.com, and No. 8 overall, according to MLBPipeline.com.
The White Sox also acquired pitcher Dylan Cease, who is ranked 63rd by MLBPipeline and 80th by Baseball America, as well as infielders Matt Rose and Bryan Flete.
“In Eloy, we are acquiring a player who, similar to (Yoan) Moncada, is viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball today with the potential for major impact in the not too distant future,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “Dylan brings us an impressive young pitcher who is ranked among the top pitching prospects in the game.”
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Rumored to be on the block since December, the White Sox gambled that by hanging onto Quintana they could reel in another massive haul similar to the ones they did with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. Those trades all netted a number of top prospects that helped revamp the White Sox farm system overnight. The club appears to have done so yet again with the acquisition of Jimenez, who earlier this week appeared at the All-Star Futures Game for a second straight season.
But the move comes at the cost of the ever-dependable Quintana, who was a stalwart in the team’s rotation since his arrival in 2012. Though Quintana struggled over the season’s first two months, he’s bounced back stating in June. Quintana posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out 45 batters in 40 innings in his last seven starts.
That rebound might have helped Quintana’s marketability as the Cubs were willing to part with Jimenez, who previously was believed to be untouchable. Jimenez, who currently plays at Class-A Myrtle Beach, is hitting .271/.351/.490 this season with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 174 plate appearances.
“Might be a monster,” one American League scout said. “Wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up better than Moncada.”