White Sox Future Even Brighter After Jose Quintana Trade

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10: Eloy Jimenez
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10: Eloy Jimenez /

White Sox continue rebuilding efforts by trading ace to crosstown rival. South Siders future brighter after trade of All-Star pitcher.

The White Sox stunned MLB last Thursday after trading their 2016 All-Star ace to their crosstown rival for another great haul of prospects. The ChiSox dealt 28-year-old lefty Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for four prospects, including Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease who were the top two prospects of the Cubs organization.

General manager Rick Hahn was adamant about getting the best package for Quintana. Hahn and the Sox were listening to offers since last December, but waited to receive yet another great haul of young talent. Hahn previously said the thought of the Sox and Cubs not striking a deal because they play in the same city was “laughable.”

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Quintana didn’t have a good start to 2017, but was showing signs of progress before he was traded across town. His true value is in his durability and consistency, which the Cubs desperately needed. Quintana has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last four seasons, with at least nine wins and an ERA of 3.51 or lower. Quintana was a 2016 All-Star and had his best season last year as the No. 2 pitcher in the Sox rotation, which is around where he will start with the Cubs.

The Sox organization, his teammates, and fans have nothing but great things to say about him and he’ll be sorely missed on the Southside, but the Sox should be excited about the return on what was a seemingly great deal for both sides of Chicago.

The Sox received INF Matt Rose, and INF Bryant Flete to go along with Jimenez and Cease. Jimenez – who famously knocked a baseball off the stadium lights in a home run derby – joins the Sox as their No. 2 prospect closely behind MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect Yoan Moncada. Jimenez was the Cubs top prospect before being traded.

Cease, the Cubs former No. 2 prospect, is currently ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 63 prospect, above the Sox No. 68 Zach Collins. Rose, 22, and Flete, 24,  are not ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospect List or Baseball America’s Top 100 list. They were both assigned to Single-A Winston-Salem however.

The arrival of Jimenez and Cease are just two additions to what could be considered the best farm system in baseball. Jimenez has been said to have incredible bat speed and power while Cease is said to be another power arm with a high-90s fastball, possibly even triple digits.

These two players just about seal what will be an insane lineup in the next two years, if the Sox prospects do actually pan out. Cease is going to be added to what already seems like one of the best pitching staffs in the very near future. He will try and get a spot on a rotation that could feature Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer, Michael Kopech, and Zach Burdi. That list does not even include possible acquisitions that can be made at this year’s deadline or this coming offseason. Cease will have his work cut out for him but if he can make it on this rotation, he’ll definitely have the stuff to make an impact on a potential American League powerhouse.

In addition to Cease potentially being added to rotation, Jimenez will presumably take the left-fielder position with Luis Robert in center and Avisail Garcia in right. So with Jimenez in left, the outfield will soon be an unstoppable force of sluggers and huge athletes. Scouts are projecting Robert and Jimenez to be two of the best sluggers in the next few years, while Garica is looking at a possible 20 HR/80 RBI season in 2017. Melky Cabrera is having another productive year for the Sox, but will be gone at the end of the season if he isn’t traded.

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The White Sox now have nine of the MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects, but even more exciting is the possibility of the Sox still adding even more prospects. The White Sox are reportedly still shopping David Robertson and Todd Frazier, among other veterans. With the deadline still weeks away, the Sox are still trusting the process and remain major sellers.