Hahn lauds prospects Sox got for Quin­tana

Chicago Sun-Times - - SOXBEAT - BYGORDONWITTENMYER Staff Re­porter Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ GDubCub. Email: gwit­ten­myer@ suntimes. com

ORLANDO, Fla. — No one on ei­ther side of town is claim­ing vic­tory four months af­ter the trade in which the White Sox sent cov­eted starter Jose Quin­tana to the Cubs for four mi­nor- lea­guers, in­clud­ing the Cubs’ two top prospects.

But if the sen­ti­ments from the teams — es­pe­cially the Sox — con­tinue at this rate, the de­bate could rage for years.

At one point Tues­day, Sox gen­eral man­ager Rick Hahn was so en­thused about the first im­pres­sions of slug­ging prospect Eloy Jimenez that he en­ter­tained a ques­tion com­par­ing his per­son­al­ity/ per­for­mance po­ten­tial to that of David Or­tiz, who helped lead the Red Sox to three World Se­ries cham­pi­onships in a 10- year span.

‘‘ That’s pos­si­ble,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘ I don’t like putting too big a name on guys. Let’s let him be the first Eloy Jimenez in­stead of the next David Or­tiz. That said, if he can match him from a ring stand­point, that’d be a nice stan­dard to em­u­late go­ing for­ward.’’

Jimenez, 21, is ranked among the top five prospects in baseball and might have a chance to de­but with the Sox in 2018.

‘‘ Eloy, from a per­son­al­ity stand­point, work- ethic stand­point, in­tel­li­gence stand­point, has sur­passed what we had seen on pa­per from what our scouts were able to put to­gether on his back­ground when we ac­quired him,’’ Hahn said.

Hahn said he also has been im­pressed with 100- mph right- han­der Dy­lan Cease, who has an even bet­ter break­ing ball and is in the Sox’ plans for a fu­ture role in the cham­pi­onship ro­ta­tion they en­vi­sion.

‘‘ Eloy and Dy­lan were es­sen­tial to [ clos­ing the deal],’’ Hahn said.

The Cubs think they gave up a lot to get the kind of pitcher who fig­ures to be a key part of their ro­ta­tion. Quin­tana is the sixth- ranked starter in the ma­jors the last three sea­sons in wins above re­place­ment and is un­der con­tract con­trol for the next three.

‘‘ We don’t make the play­offs last [ sea­son] with­out Quin­tana,’’ Cubs gen­eral man­ager Jed Hoyer said. ‘‘ So he was a big fac­tor for us, and he’s go­ing to be a big fac­tor for us go­ing for­ward.’’

Eloy Jimenez

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