After dominating the National League last season on the way to a World Series title, the Cubs enter the second half this season at 43-45 and 5.5 games behind Milwaukee in the Central Division.
Quintana spent part of six seasons with the White Sox, going 50-54 with a 3.51 ERA and pitching over 200 innings in four of those years. He went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA past year and made his first All-Star team. The Cubs gave up their top two prospects in Jimenez and Cease. The Cubs got a cost-controlled starter with an All-Star track record without touching their big-league roster while the White Sox got a big prospect package.
The Tigers desperately need to make moves for the future before the trade deadline, but Avila might have to look elsewhere to move a starting pitcher. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made it clear to Epstein that both would have to be included in any trade if the Cubs wanted Quintana.
The White Sox embraced the rebuild over the winter, trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in a span of two days in early December for a haul of prospects headlined by Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. The 20-year old Jimenez, signed as an amateur out of Cuba in 2013 for a $2.8 million bonus, is hitting.271/.351/.490 in 42 games in high-A this season, following a year where he slashed.329/.369/.532 with 14 homers and eight steals in A-ball. All three were acquired in trades over the previous year. He's been one of the most valuable pitchers in baseball over the last few years.
The Cubs selected Cease in the sixth round of the draft in 2014. In 13 starts in Class A, he's 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.
Jose Quintana is headed to the Cubs. The Cubs have the boost for the win-now mode they're in amid a championship window, and the White Sox have reaffirmed their commitment to doing the rebuilding process the right way, from the ground up through a farm system that's been further replenished.