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Cubs acquire Jose Quintana

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Colorado Rockies Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

I hesitated to put up a post just about this, but decided it’d be best to let everybody unload all in the same place.

As most of you already know, the Cubs have acquired LHP Jose Quintana from the White Sox for four prospects: OF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, first baseman Matt Rose and infielder Bryant Flete. Quintana was, of course, the subject of extensive off-season trade rumors. From 2013-16, he was one of the most reliable starters in MLB, throwing over 200 innings and posting fWAR from 3.5 to 5.1 every year. This year has been a different story, as he got off to an inexplicably bad start. In April and May, he had a 5.60 ERA and weak, although not that weak, peripherals. He rebounded with a very strong June, but hasn’t pitched especially well in his two July starts. His K rate is actually well above his career norm and his velocity is the same as always. His xFIP (4.13) is about the same as last year’s (4.03), which in turn was roughly half a run higher than the average of the previous three years.

Jimenez is the highlight of the Sox’ return, as he ranks fifth on Baseball America’s recent mid-season top 100. He was also the Cubs’ top prospect coming into the season, ahead of Ian Happ. BA ranked Cease 83rd in MLB and 4th with the Cubs. Jimenez is currently in high A at age 20 and Cease, age 21, is in low A, so the Sox went for lower level prospects to get upside. Rose and Flete are both in high A. Both have some ability, but neither has been on any top prospect lists. Rose is currently hitting for power but not for average. Flete is hitting .305, but with weak plate discipline and middling power.