Chicago Cubs: All the trade talk is just that – talk
Yet, nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Theo hasn’t come close to moving any of the core. But needs remain in center field, second base, the bench and the one spot in the batting order. We all know this. Theo knows this.
So if they are staying in win-now mode, not moving any of the core and not signing any significant free agents, what’s left? Logically, ultimately, the prospects in the system.
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But should Theo trade from this pool of prospect talent? In 2017, Epstein traded Cease and Jimenez to the White Sox for Jose Quintana.
Since then Q has been a solid number four starter who takes the ball every five games, rarely missing a start. But he’s just turned 31, is in the last year of his contract and never really lived up to the potential the Cubs saw in his 2016 All-Star season. That year he pitched to a 3.20 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP and came in 10th in American League Cy Young voting.
As for Cease, he got off to a rocky start when he came up in July last season, but his last four games saw him post a 3.00 ERA and 1.333 WHIP. He reached 12 Ks per nine innings and gave up just two home runs compared to seven the previous four games.
Jimenez started off solid enough, slumped in mid-season, then posted a .308/.342/.575 slash and .917 OPS in August and September. Both Cease and Jimenez will be essential pieces to the quickly rising 2020 White Sox.