The White Sox are finally on track to field a highly competitive team shortly. This morning, they traded their ace pitcher Jose Quintana to the rival Cubs for four prospects. Headlining the prospect haul is outfielder Eloy Jimenez, ranked #5 in Baseball America’s Top 100. They also received right-hander Dylan Cease (ranked 83rd), and two other guys that will probably be minor league fodder, to be honest.
The Sox sold high on Quintana, who chose a bad time to have a career-worst year. His 4.49 ERA is not nearly the same as the 3.20 ERA he posted just last year. His command has looked off for most of the year, accumulating almost the same amount of walks this year as he did all last year. Saying this, the 2017 campaign is his first year ever in which he has posted an ERA higher than 3.76 (his rookie year). The Cubs paid for his previous resume, and are banking on him regaining his form at Wrigley and having him under control for three more seasons on a team-friendly contract doesn’t hurt.
Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Enemy’s Prospects Closer
It’s rare to see a White Sox-Cubs trade, but then again, we’ve witnessed a monkey be elected as President so that anything can happen I guess. I understand why this trade happened. Getting two Top 100 prospects plus is hard to say no to, even if it is your rival. If your arch nemesis in elementary school wants to give you four green colored bills in exchange for one pink colored bill because he likes the color pink, you take that deal every day of the week.
This trade means that the White Sox now own 2 of the top 5 Top 100 prospects in all of baseball (Moncada #1, Jimenez #5). The Sox also have six prospects in the Top 100, with a couple of high-powered arms in Kopech and Giolito and they are all close to major league ready. Give them a couple of years under their belt, and then it will be a tight competition for bragging rights in Chi-Town.
According to Jon Morosi, it’s not like the Cubs were the only team kicking tires on Quintana.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 13, 2017
I think everybody and their mothers had Quintana penciled in as the Game 2 playoff starter for the Astros behind Dallas Keuchel. Good thing you used pencil because it’s time to erase that.
Hey Blue Jays, You Awake?!
So what does this mean for the nation’s beloved Blue Birds? Well, it can only mean positives. If a brain trust like Epstein and Co. is willing to pay that price for Quintana, it helps to set the market for pitching.
According to reports, the Blue Jays are shopping veteran arms such as Estrada, Liriano, Howell, and Smith.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) July 12, 2017
Howell is about as valuable as dog shit so let’s pretend like he’s not there. The name that intrigues me as well as most Blue Jays fans? Estrada. Coming off impressive 2015 and 2016 campaigns, Estrada has looked like poo over the past couple of months. He started out the year so well but has posted a 9+ ERA over last month. He went from a sure fire option to liability. However, IF Shapiro can sell a team on previous success as the White Sox did with the Cubs, Estrada may have some value. That’s a big “if” though.
The White Sox did the right thing. They realized that their team wouldn’t cut it, and sold their valuable assets like Sale, Eaton, and Quintana. That organization went from zero to hero. Almost all of the six Top 100 prospects that the White Sox own came solely from these three trades. Building around players like Abreu, they can now gear up to be a solid, consistent threat in the next two to three years.
The Jays need to come to this realization too. They have a solid core of Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna and even Travis to build around. Prospects like Alford, Gurerro Jr, and Bichette, are all knocking on the door for arrival in the next year or two. Move the players with value and control. Move the Happs, Donaldsons, and Smoaks of the team and sell them while they still have value. Exhibit A of not selling high is Estrada. We don’t need another.
Shapiro and Atkins, take note. Real baseball fans understand the need for a rebuild/retool. Don’t be pussies. Pull the trigger.