When Rick Hahn traded Chris Sale for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, it signaled the start of a complete rebuild. Sure enough, the very next day he dealt Adam Eaton for Lucas Giiolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.
But the biggest trade in terms of pure value has to be the Jose Quintana deal that saw Q move a few miles north in exchange for Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
A Pretty Lopsided Deal
Quintana was solid in his first season with the Cubs, but was extremely average after that, never posting an ERA under 4 in his entire time in Wrigleyville. The Sox handled the trade perfectly, trading Q when his value was at its absolute highest and taking advantage of a contending Cubs team that still was in need of starting pitching.
The Sox, however, have been reaping the rewards of the deal as of late. Eloy Jimenez, injuries and fielding woes aside, has proven to be a bonafide middle-of-the-order bat for the Southside and figures to only get better. He will be an incredible boost to the White Sox offense in the second half for a team that desperately needs help in the power department.
Dylan Cease has been a bit more of a rollercoaster. When he is on and can command his fastball with consistency, he can be borderline unhittable. But consistency is the keyword here. After making just 26 starts in his first 2 seasons combined (due to a mid-season debut and a shortened 2020 season), he has already made 18 starts in 2021 and has logged a career-high in innings pitched at 92.0. His ERA of 4.11 this year won’t turn heads, but he has been a little unlucky this season as evidenced by his 3.68 FIP. After some high highs and low lows this year, he is still worth 2.0 fWAR with roughly 10 more regular-season starts to go.
Eloy certainly looks like he will represent the White Sox in numerous All-Star games at some point in the future. Still just 24 years old, he has plenty of time to grow as a player. He may be a DH long-term, but the bat is that dangerous to where he should see quite a few accolades stack up for him as the years go on.
Cease is a guy who again, has a wicked arsenal, he just has to command the strike zone better. If he can do that, the sky is the limit for him.
Roles Have Changed
Now in 2021, the White Sox have the best record in the American League at the All-Star Break and are looking to buy at the deadline. The Cubs, after a hot start, have dropped off a cliff in recent weeks and it sounds like they will sell. Could another cross-town deal be in the works? The Sox would certainly love to obtain a guy like Kris Bryant or Craig Kimbrel, so in this potential scenario, it would be Rick Hahn offering up prospects for MLB-ready players instead of the other way around. The question is, would the Cubs do it having been fleeced once already by their Southside rivals? Only time will tell. One thing is certain to this point though: The Sox definitely won the Quintana trade.