Chicago Cubs: White Sox versus Cubs series preview

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ /
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CHICAGO, IL – JULY 23: Jose Quintana
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 23: Jose Quintana /

Cubs add much-needed pitching depth

Almost two weeks ago, the Cubs added Jose Quintana in a trade with the White Sox. Quintana, who is 28 years old, has three years of team control left, making him a highly valued asset.

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The Cubs’ need for a cost-controlled starting pitcher had never been higher. With Jake Arrieta and John Lackey likely leaving in free agency after the season, the Cubs needed a replacement. Not only was Quintana acquired to be a replacement, he was acquired to headline the rotation along with Jon Lester and help the Cubs reach the postseason.

A steep price to pay, but worth it

To get Quintana, the Cubs yielded their top two prospects in Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez. Also included in the deal were Matt Rose and Bryant Flete, but obviously Cease and Jimenez were the two big pieces acquired by the White Sox.

Less than a week after the trade, Quintana made his first start as a member of the Cubs. Quintana tossed seven shutout innings against the Orioles, allowing only three hits and striking out 12. While that start impressed many Cubs fans, Quintana has not had the best season. Before the trade, Quintana made 18 starts with the White Sox. In those starts, the lefty recorded a 4.49 ERA with 109 strikeouts and 40 walks in 104 1/3 innings pitched.

Despite Quintana’s rough numbers with his former team, the Cubs hope he can help bolster the starting rotation. Through two starts, Quintana is doing just that. Following his start on Sunday, Quintana has allowed just three earned runs in 13 innings, while striking out 19 and walking just two batters.