Quintana crosses town
Cubs acquire starter from White Sox in blockbuster
The Chicago Cubs found the pitching help they were looking for just a few miles from Wrigley Field. They hope it will give the scuffling team the kick it needs.
The defending World Series champions acquired lefthanded ace Jose Quintana from the White Sox on Thursday in a major trade between crosstown rivals that could shake up the NL Central race.
By landing the 2016 all-star, the Cubs made it clear they’re not giving up on a difficult season after arriving at the break two games under .500. They also added a pitcher who figures to be a key piece in the rotation for at least the next few years.
“We had a bad first half,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “We did. We own that. We know we can do better.”
The Cubs trail Milwaukee by 5 1/2 games in the division at 43-45 after ending a 108-year championship drought last fall. They believe they are set up to contend for years to come with stars such as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.
By trading for Quintana, they brought in an elite starter who is under club control through 2020.
They had to give up two top prospects in outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease along with minor league infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
Quintana has pitched better lately after a slow start and is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts this season.
He won a career-high 13 games last season with a personal-best 3.20 ERA while making his first all-star team and is 50-54 with a 3.51 ERA since debuting with the White Sox in 2012.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said letting him go was a difficult choice for the rebuilding team.
“He’s a true professional who had to deal with everything from poor run support to the bullpen occasionally letting him down, the defence letting him down,” Hahn said.
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