Powell: Quintana To Cubs A No-brainer

Jose Quintana and others warmup for the first full squad workout. (WGN Radio/2017)

By Kevin Powell

You’re stunned. I get it. Many are. The Cubs and White Sox did what?! But let’s take a step back and bring some perspective to this deal. Jose Quintana to the Cubs has made almost too much sense ever since the Sox entered rebuild mode.

Once the trade was announced, the baseball world was shocked. Not just because it was a trade between the crosstown rivals, but because it was a blockbuster deal involving one of the best pitchers in baseball and one of the top-rated prospects in the game.

“This is the type of deal we’ve been looking to make for a long time,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “It ended up being a surprising dance partner for us, but I think a great baseball trade.”

That’s exactly what it is–a great baseball trade. The Cubs get Quintana, who was an All-Star last year and has made 32 or more starts while reaching 200 or more innings in each of the last four campaigns. The Sox get four prospects including Eloy Jimenez. A power-hitting outfielder who projects as a middle-of-the-order type bat.

Here is Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Jimenez: “In Eloy, we are acquiring a player who, similar to Moncada, is viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball today with the potential for major impact in the not too distant future.”

Jimenez, 20, is batting .271 (42-155) with eight home runs, 32 RBI and 23 runs scored over 42 games this season with Class A Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League.

The initial shock didn’t stem from the player swap, but because the Cubs and Sox actually did something this bold. It’s progressive thinking. And honestly, it’s a no-brainer of a deal.

“The baseball logic of the trade just makes so much sense,” Epstein said. “Jose Quintana probably is more valuable for us at this moment in time than he is to the White Sox. And our prospects, at this moment in time, are more valuable to the White Sox then they are to us…I’m proud of both organizations for prioritizing the baseball components of the deal and making this happen.”

Forget that both of these teams reside in Chicago. Who cares? It made sense, so they made the deal. Simple as that.

So far, the Sox rebuild is going exactly according to plan. While Theo & Co. finally have what they’ve been seeking for a couple of years.

Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720