On this day four years ago, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox agreed on a trade that still gets brought up for its significance. A trade that cause fans to perk up or sink in their seat depending on what side they’re on.
In a July 13, 2017 trade, the Chicago Cubs acquired Jose Quintana in exchange for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose, and Bryant Flete. Both clubs were at a very different place record wise, and this trade was going to benefit both sides in specific ways. However, today’s outlook on that trade feels very different from the time of the transaction.
The Case of the Trade
At the time of the trade, Quintana was the South Side’s most sought-after arm. He continuously went out and mowed down opponents, despite being on a bottom feeder Sox team. For the Cubs, who were just coming off of a World Series win, it was their attempt to bolster their rotation for another playoff run. Jimenez and Cease were a pair of the Cubs’ top prospects, and with no disrespect to Rose or Flete, the first two were the spotlight of the deal.
Quintana never really found the game that he had with the White Sox. If Cubs fans were asked about him, they’d probably say that he was good, but not worth what they gave up for him. The left-handed hurler was an innings eater and a competitor who was easy to root for after leaving a team that continuously failed to provide him with run support. The Cubs parted ways with him after the 2020 shortened season and he’s now throwing for the Los Angeles Angels. A rocky first half has his ERA above 7.00 while throwing just under 40 innings.
White Sox Reward
On the other hand, Jimenez and Cease made their way through the system and are now a valuable pair in the team’s core. The knock on Jimenez is his lack of fielding ability, but his bat heavily outweighs that critique. Even after his injury in Spring Training, he was hitting bombs on his rehab stint in Single-A Winston-Salem. He will continue his rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte beginning on Tuesday.
For Cease, the bash on him is his control. White Sox Twitter likes to joke about his outings in that he can go seven innings of one-hit ball while throwing 57 pitches, or he can throw 100 pitches by the third inning, not make it past four, and somehow keep the team in the game. Regardless, Cease has the makeup of a dominant arm, but there’s still work to do. As for Rose and Flete, both spent a bit of time within the Sox organization, but the last record of their play was in 2019 in Independent ball. Rose played for the Schaumburg Boomers, and Flete suited up with the Southern Illinois Miners.
Without question, the White Sox won the Quintana trade back in 2017. However at the time, it was a trade that the Cubs front office thought would put them over the hump and head downhill for another playoff run. Baseball is a crazy game with trades that sometimes don’t show their true colors until years later. Ask Sox fans about the James Shields trade. It’s no secret that one burns a little with every Fernando Tatis Jr. bat flip. With the MLB trade deadline looming, the only advice one could give is to take these trades for what they are: A gamble on an exchange of players.