Chicago Cubs will trade these two pitchers during the season

Jose Quintana /Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jose Quintana /Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jose Quintana / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs added a plethora of pitching this offseason. As a result, the team could very well move two pitchers during the season.

The Chicago Cubs have invited 21 non-roster players to Mesa for Spring Training that starts in a few days. This is in addition to the acquisitions of Jharel Cotton, Jeremy Jeffress, Casey Sadler, Ryan Tepera and Dan Winkler earlier in the offseason.

Some will remain on the 40-man roster, others will be assigned to the minors and there will be a few who will be outrighted. Given the team’s uncertainty surrounding this year’s pitching staff, all of these guys have a shot at impacting the 2020 club.

As we all know at this point, Jose Quintana, was acquired from the White Sox for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, first baseman Matt Rose, and middle infielder Bryant Flete.  In his two and a half years on the Northside, the left-hander has been reliable if nothing else given he’s never missed a start.  He has also been fairly solid if unremarkable in the fourth spot posting a 4.23 ERA and 1.303 WHIP.

But this is not the Quintana the Cubs believed they were acquiring back in 2017.  What the Cubs were planning to get was this: in 2015-2016 a 3.28 ERA, 1.215 WHIP with a 3.81 strikeout-to-walk ratio who in 2016 was an All-Star and came in tenth in American League Cy Young voting.

Theo Epstein opted to pick up Quintana’s $10.5 million team option for 2020 – giving him another arm to slot in behind the likes of Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester. The 31-year-old southpaw is poised to hit free agency next winter, potentially making this his last season on the North Side.

If Quintana steps up and reverts back to what made him an ace on the South Side as recently as 2017 and one of the other aforementioned pitchers break out, look for Epstein to capitalize. There would be about $5 million left on his contract, making him a very attractive option for a cost-conscious team looking to add a reliable starter ahead of a postseason push.