Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's Louder Uptown - Quintana Trade Recap

                Ol’ Richie Gatsby wheelin’ & dealin’ & doin’ the damn thing.  It’s been an if not when deal since this time last year, with me admittedly going back and forth from “just let us have one good start every five days to get us through this season” and “send the man anywhere for mental health reasons” a dozen times on this site alone. We knew the price was high for Q, and today we found out just how high, to the tune of “welp” in various harmonies from Cubs fans.

                Despite the constant talks, I’m not really sure when Q started getting talked about on a league-wide level. My gut says winter meetings, but only after Sale got dealt. Even last year’s trade deadline talks were “if not Sale, why not Quintana?”.  He’s a tough pitcher to put into perspective for the rest of the league- face value for this deal is a lot for a 4-8, 4.50 ERA guy- and it would be a long, sad tale featuring a lot of gifs of Tyler Flowers and Adam LaRoche striking out. Here’s a quicker breakdown of the trade:

                Jose Quintana

                Take Hawkisms for what you will, but one’s been absolutely true: If Jose didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all. His White Sox tenure was a house on Indian burial ground, featuring 65 no-decisions in five and a half seasons. Keep repeating for any “buts” your Cubs friends might have for Q: 169 career starts. 65 no decisions.  He’s not the “Cy Young winner if on any other team” pitcher Chris Sale was, but this is a dangerous pitcher to have on the bump with any semblance of consistent run support.

                For what it’s worth, here’s the most “bad luck Q” game I’ve seen in person, from last year:

                Here’s how that went:

-        The bad: Q gives up two home runs to Brian Dozier, for a game total of 4 earned runs. Most analyses of Quintana would start and end there.

-        The good: Q goes seven full innings. Dozier would have three of the Twins’ six hits against him. Of those Dozier home runs, one was a solo shot: they would go 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The dagger was a three run home run, which came after 6.2 innings pitched. Through five Quintana had only given up the home run and a leadoff double that did not score. He’d strike out eight on the day.

-        The Minnesota Twins would go on to lose 103 games.  The starting pitcher for them that day was Kyle Gibson, who entered the game 0-5 in 7 starts with a 6.05 ERA.

-        The White Sox would get shut out. They would give Quintana 4 hits of support and go 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

-        Jose Quintana would get the loss.

These starts seemed to happen at least once a month for Q. For a full recap of Jose’s time with the Sox, watch Shawshank Redemption and turn it off when Warden Norton gives Andy another month in solitary. Make Wrigley his Zihuatanejo, Northsiders.

Mean time, the Sox haul:

Eloy Jimenez

Not much to say here that Cubs fans haven’t already.  The fact that fans were trying to figure out a way to fit him on the major league roster post-All Star Break is a hell of a review, be it the overreaction to the flat first half or legitimate ready-now excitement. Huge testament to Q that the asking price was this high throughout the process, and that the Cubs have enough faith in him to give up a top 5 prospect for him.

 I can’t think of a better farm system than ours now with his addition, at least for position players (Braves may still be about even with pitching). We have an odd abundance of outfielders now, with or without Avisail “Suddenly an All-Star” Garcia. Hoping this is a good adrenaline shot for May and Willy.

Tough loss for the Cubs, but their window is now.  There’s enough star power on their roster to retool later if need be.  I think it’s mostly a surprise because of how prospect oriented Theo is, but I hold his judgment to the same level of my grandparents and lifelong monks. Q will pitch this year’s division clincher, Jimenez will hit home runs five rows behind my bleacher seats in three years. It’s a win for everyone.

Dylan Cease

Kopech and Giolito are near foaming at the mouth level excitement this year.  That being said, pitching prospects are the development equivalent of hitting on 15, and going into this I wanted one more (as many as possible, really). Cease seems like a sneaky good addition, coming in at No. 97 on the Baseball America prospect list with a mean curve. I’m not too sure where he falls on the timeline as a 21 year-old single-A pitcher, so I’m not expecting him to get called up with the rest of the class of 2020, but can’t be too careful and a good buffer if the arms we already stocked up don’t pan out.

Matt Rose

Sox tweet says first baseman, scouting report says third baseman. I’ll leave Cub fans to comment and clarify.  I don’t want Moncada playing third, so if he pans out, I hope it’s the latter (though this season has me a little more skeptical on Abreu’s defense). Supposedly very speedy with decent hitting, though hitting .217 in single-A currently. A wait and see.

Bryant Flete

Second baseman on Baseball America- he’ll want Hakuna Moncada at third a lot more than I will. .285 last year .305 this year in single-A. I see him more as a utility guy than a starter in the 2020 plan.

                It’s a win for both sides when it comes down to it. It’s the same “I can’t believe we wasted your prime” feeling I got with Sale, but Q needed a change of scenery much more than he did. For us, follow course. For the Cubs, let’s get some runs. It’s overdue for your new guy. 

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