Cubs Acquire Jose Quintana for Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez (++)

In Uncategorized by myles32 Comments

In a blockbuster opening salvo to the 2017 trading season, the Cubs landed one of the best gettable arms for this cycle.

First, let's talk about what we've lost. Eloy Jimenez is a hell of a prospect (No. 5 in BA's midseason ranking). He has light-tower power, though it hasn't translated onto the field at quite the same rate. He's still very young with a few years of seasoning left in the minors, and he has as good a shot as anyone currently in the minors to be a .300/.400/.500 guy. He's a nice fit in the AL, as well, as he could easily be a DH when it's all said and done.

Dylan Cease was sort of my pet prospect, with a 98 MPH fastball that he can throw for strikes and a curveball that wipes hitters out. He has the same injury problems that most hard throwers have, but he could quickly become a frontline starter for the White Sox.

That said, Jose Quintana is already one of those. After a rough start to the year, Quintana has been what he's always been, and that's an extremely efficient and good starter. Over the past 3.5 years, Lester and Quintana have identical fWAR (16.6, good for 7th in MLB). Quintana isn't an overpowering pitcher, but he locates the ball extremely well and is very consistent. The only worry is that he isn't as grounder-dominant as a traditional frontline guy is (so a juiced ball might adversely affect him). 

Quintana is under team control until 2021, so this is as much a play for 2018 as it is for 2017. It swings the pendulum away from "sell" to "hold," mostly because the Cubs simply don't have tradeable assets in the minors anymore. Still, I really like this trade (more for next year than this one), and I imagine that White Sox fans should like it too.

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  1. Perkins

    I still wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs trade Davis to help reload the farm system a bit. But this is a very exciting trade, and I’ve got quite a bit less anxiety over the rotation for the next couple of years.

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  2. dmick89

    I wish I knew if the increase in home runs was responsible for his more than modest increase this season. I also wish I knew if he has established new marks for strikeouts and walks. I am concerned about the walks and especially the home runs.

    I wouldn’t have made this trade, but I don’t think it’s a bad deal for the Cubs. In many ways it’s a good trade for them, but their farm system is non-existent now.

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  3. cerulean

    Perkins,

    I feel like a great team should always be buying and selling. In fact, I like a strategy where the Cubs develop bullpen guys and bats and trade them for starters amd minor leaguers.

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  4. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I wouldn’t have made this trade, but I don’t think it’s a bad deal for the Cubs. In many ways it’s a good trade for them, but their farm system is non-existent now.

    Once they send Eddie Butler down it will seem like it’s restocked. (dying laughing)

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  5. Author
    myles

    dmick89:
    I wish I knew if the increase in home runs was responsible for his more than modest increase this season. I also wish I knew if he has established new marks for strikeouts and walks. I am concerned about the walks and especially the home runs.

    I wouldn’t have made this trade, but I don’t think it’s a bad deal for the Cubs. In many ways it’s a good trade for them, but their farm system is non-existent now.

    Probably the worst farm in baseball now.

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  6. dmick89

    myles,

    I don’t ever remember the Red Sox system under Theo getting anywhere near as bad as the Cubs system right now. Some changes have been made that make building a system more difficult, but it’s back to 2010-2011 terrible. All it took was a little less than a calendar year to destroy it.

    Success over the next five years is all about spending money now.

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  7. SharpChiCity

    we’re trading value in 2019 -> beyond for 2017 -2020 value. This also frees up a bit of payroll for the future as we are paying < $10M per season for a starting pitcher.

    player for players, i think this is probably about right. maybe adding Cease makes it slightly in the sox favor, but saving 10M a season for 3 years while the rest of our team is going through arbitration is pretty valuable.

    Contracts from Cots:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1m9xTvGMwK863GUzqhtMzjssMwQAwr7RfnGcbXrFyqPc/edit#gid=0

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  8. JonKneeV

    dmick89,

    That’s a bit unfair to say it’s “been destroyed”. If bringing up your top prospects destroys your farm system, then so be it. It’s not like it was completely destroyed because Theo traded it all for a bunch of 1/2 season rentals. You don’t win anything for having the best farm system. The only significant pieces that can leave over the 2-3 years are Zobrist, Arrieta, and Heyward (if he opts out). Everyone else is locked up through 2020.

    Theoretically, they could have kept Contreras, Happ, Almora, and Schwarber all in the minors to retain “prospect” status and be seen as a decent system. Although those players (+ Baez, Russell) aren’t “prospects” anymore, they are assets that can still be traded.

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  9. dmick89

    SharpChiCity,

    Yeah, I think this is a fairly good for the Cubs. I also think it’s a really good trade for the White Sox. The reason i’m not too happy about it is that the farm system is crap now. That’s where the long-term success is going to come from and it sucks to have what was a great farm system destroyed in less than a year.

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  10. dmick89

    JonKneeV: Theoretically, they could have kept Contreras, Happ, Almora, and Schwarber all in the minors to retain “prospect” status and be seen as a decent system. Although those players (+ Baez, Russell) aren’t “prospects” anymore, they are assets that can still be traded.

    Good point. I’d be surprised if we don’t see that at some point in the next 6 months.

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  11. SharpChiCity

    dmick89,

    On the other side, I don’t think we will really need much from our farm in the next 3 years barring injuries, obviously pitching, and necessary trades (which hopefully we won’t need to make)

    To be fair, we’ve built basically our entire team from our minor leagues, which prior to Theo, was basically crap. So we’ve graduated something like 10-15 guys in the past 2 years that are all major league talents. It’d be interesting to see the number of positive WAR players on each team that have been brought up through the minors in the past 3 years. Cubes have to be up there at the top

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  12. dmick89

    SharpChiCity: So we’ve graduated something like 10-15 guys in the past 2 years that are all major league talents. It’d be interesting to see the number of positive WAR players on each team that have been brought up through the minors in the past 3 years. Cubes have to be up there at the top

    This is probably true, but what concerns me is that it’s not as easy to rebuild a farm system these days. If the Cubs aren’t willing to trade some of these valuable players (I’m not necessarily saying they should be or which they should trade), the farm system is crap for a long time while the good young players become expensive and eventually become free agents.

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  13. dmick89

    I just saw Montgomery was listed as the starter for tomorrow. That has to be a mistake, right? Lester got lit up in his last start, but he’ll be on normal rest and he didn’t throw that many pitches in his last start. The only thing dumber than starting Montgomery would be starting Lackey. Quintana would be on five days rest if he started.

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  14. dmick89

    Maybe Joe looked at the standings and thought they were 5.5 games up? Not an easy mistake to make, but I guess it could happen. He’s getting up there in age, maybe he just doesn’t remember the first half.

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  15. Perkins

    dmick89,

    Could be because the Orioles are worse against LHP. I could see the Cubs stacking Montgomery, Lester, and Quintana for the series if that’s the idea.

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  16. dmick89

    Perkins,

    Even if you want to do that, the order should be Lester, Quintana, Montgomery. You could switch Lester and Quintana and that’s fine, but those two have to pitch the first two games if that’s the strategy (all lefties), which I’m thinking is probably not a great strategy anyway.

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  17. Perkins

    dmick89,

    It’s also possible that he’s thinking a couple series in advance. If they did go Montgomery, Lester/Quintana, Monty would pitch the final game of the Barves series and the other two would be lined up to face STL on extra rest.

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  18. Rizzo the Rat

    My thoughts:

    1. This seems like a good deal. They’re getting a lot more in return than they did the last time they decimated the farm system.
    2. That said, I no longer have any idea who the Cubs’ top prospects are, and I suspect it’s not much worth looking up.
    3. Joe’s been shuffling around his starting rotation as long as he’s been managing the club. I don’t really understand it, but it’s probably a symptom of his tendency to over-manage. He likes to be clever.

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  19. Rizzo the Rat

    Now that I think about it, I’m a little annoyed that Theo & co. didn’t make this trade last off-season. Oh well.

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  20. Perkins

    Looks like it’s Montgomery, Arrieta, Quintana, Lester, and Lackey coming out of the break.

    I assume Hendricks replaces Montgomery in the rotation when he returns, but I’m guessing this order is to line up Arrieta, Quintana, and Lester for the series against STL.

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  21. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat,

    No guarantee it was on the table in the offseason. I read today that Theo had inquired about Sale and was told the cost was Bryant plus, so they may have been asking for a bit more for Quintana at the time.

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