We all knew that the Chicago Cubs were in the market for a young and controllable starting pitcher to stabilize their erratic rotation this season. GM Jed Hoyer finally pulled the plug and acquired Jose Quintana from the cross-town rivals Chicago White Sox in exchange for top prospect Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease and 2 other prospects Thursday afternoon.
Yes, the Cubs traded Eloy Jimenez, who is considered to be a monster impact player in his career. But this trade was a necessity as a positional need was filled in the starting rotation. Quintana brings six years of pitching experience to the Cubs with quality statistics and is controllable through 2020. He has a career 3.51 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP. His WAR numbers have increased in the last three seasons going from 3.5 to 4.0 to 5.2. This goes to show that Quintana was a very important player for the White Sox in terms of getting wins and having a positive impact on the team winning games. He is also an innings eater, preserving the bullpen until late into ballgames.
One has to think that his numbers will only increase with the Cubs. Going from the American League to the National League (no designated hitter in the NL) without having to change cities is also a bonus. With a loaded batting lineup, Quintana should also rack up more wins on the North Side than he did on the South Side. After this season, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey could very well test free agency. This would make Quintana and Jon Lester the #1 and #2 starting pitchers on the perennial-contending Cubs.
The Cubs have stuck around the .500 plateau for the entire first half of this season and a second half turnaround is inevitable. A World Series-winning roster is too good to keep going at this .500 pace post All-Star break. Jose Quintana was brought into Wrigleyville to do just that: A turnaround.