March 20, 2018

Cubs surprised but happy to bring Quintana into the fold

16 July 2017, 04:26 | Pamela Mathis

Arrieta spoke comfortably Friday about his return to Baltimore, where he failed to fulfill expectations that ultimately resulted in him getting traded to the Cubs in the middle of his 2013 season and suddenly blossoming into a 2015 National League Cy Young Award victor.

The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox pulled off the first major trade of the 2017 season when the White Sox agreed to trade starting pitcher Jose Quintana for minor leagers Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose, and Bryant Flete.

Nevertheless, the Cubs did pay a big price by trading two of its top prospects in Jimenez and Cease who are now ranked No. 2 and 8 respectively in a loaded system of the White Sox.

They were in a bit of a predicament. But if the Brewers want to send a message of their own back to the Cubs, they could go after Gray, basically saying that they're in it for this year, and beyond too. That's exactly what they did by acquiring Quintana, and the time for them to make a run at surpassing the Milwaukee Brewers in the division is now.

Quintana joins a rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Mike Montgomery and John Lackey (who is on the disabled list). Their production has just taken a hit. During the 2015 season, Gray had a 14-7 record and sported a 2.73 ERA. Jose Quintana has settled down after 2 rough outings in late May.

The deal neatly illustrates exactly why the Detroit Tigers have had so little luck since they announced an intention to pare payroll last October. You don't just dump those pieces out of a rotation easily.

Baseball's second half is officially off to a surprising start, thanks to the Windy City.

To this point in the season, Gray has a 4-4 record with a 4.00 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 25 walks in 13 starts. The 2016 season was a historically-good year for Chicago starters, and expecting them to run it back again in 2017 was always going to be a longshot.

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It was undoubtedly a hefty price to pay, but Quintana is a ideal fit for this team.

A familiar face no longer will be in the Chicago White Sox's clubhouse when the team opens the second half of the season with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners starting Friday night in Chicago.

Jose Quintana is headed to the Cubs.

Epstein is the architect of the championship team and as far as he is concerned, there is no need to bring in any new players because he believes the team just needs to start playing better.

Something else to keep in mind. He's also under team control through next season, when he'd then become a free agent.

Another thing to consider: This probably signals the end of Arrieta's time with the Cubs.

Bryant Flete is playing well at high A this year, but he has already been in the minors for almost six years.

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