The Cubs have set their rotation out of the All-Star Break and mark down Sunday July 13 on your calendars as the day Quintana will make his Cubs debut. Minor league infielders Matt Rose and Bryan Flete were also included in the package. And it's well past time to admit that Milwaukee is a legitimately good team - the Brewers have 50 wins, which is close to the 52 the NL East-leading Nationals have.
Already they have Quintana, in the first big deal of baseball's trading season.
Cubs starters now own a 4.68 ERA (16th in the MLB). Last year's world-championship club featured a starting staff with an ERA of 2.99.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Epstein is the savviest baseball executive since Branch Rickey, so if he thinks Quintana's his guy, I won't spend too long second-guessing him. It's important to take a step back and realize where you are.
It's possible to envision a scenario where Quintana pitches his best down the stretch, and an unexpected event or injury creates a need for a team with greater prospect wealth.
But the strength of this effort was always the unique amount of major league value the Sox had to sell. "And that's certainly our preference, because despite the bad first half, which we're accountable for, we believe in this group".
"Ultimately, that yieled not only this offer we got from the Cubs but others we felt were above that line", he said. Quintana has scuffled with a 4.49 ERA with only four wins but has struck out 109 and walked 40 in 104.1 innings. He went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA a year ago and made his first All-Star team. But perhaps more importantly, they need pitching for next year as Jake Arrieta and John Lackey prepare to depart as free agents.
Quintana has struggled so far this season, posting a 4-8 record and a 4.49 ERA, but since arriving on the South Side in 2012 he has been a front-end starter.
The Cubs might have given up a lot here-in addition to Jimenez, Cease is the No. 83 prospect according to Baseball America-but it seems like they are taking a gamble and banking on catching some lightning in a bottle.
The Cubs hope Quintana can bolster a rotation that hasn't been as strong as it was a year ago during their run to a World Series championship.
The talent screams future ace, but everything else suggests that Cease may end up being a high-leverage reliever. They deserved a world of credit. It's not just a huge trade - everything else about it is big.