The Cubs should reap the benefits of trading Jose Quintana prior to Aug. 31.
The 2020 season is just weeks old, yet the annual trade deadline is coming sooner than one might think. With all of the changes made in order for the 2020 season to be played, the deadline was moved back a month to Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. EST. Teams around the league have been facing struggles with players opting out, others facing a variety of injuries (both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related) and guys just not performing up to par. In the case of the Chicago Cubs, health and safety guidelines have been followed exceptionally well and their main issues are not health-related.
With that being said, since there is less than a month until the deadline, there are issues the Chicago Cubs have to address in order to contend down the stretch of this 60-game sprint. One of these primary areas is their bullpen. Craig Kimbrel, 32, whose struggles from 2019 have followed him into the 2020 season have created a sense of worry for the Cubs pen.
While there have been some decencies in the bullpen, like Rowan Wick and Jeremy Jeffress, the Cubs will probably want to seek out additional arms before the Deadline passes just to be safe. This begs the question: what trade candidates could land a durable reliever on the North Side of Chicago? In my mind, the clear answer is southpaw Jose Quintana.
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Quintana has been on the injured list with nerve damage in his left thumb due to a dishwashing incident that occurred before the 2020 season began. Quintana threw a simulated game last week in South Bend and he’ll throw again Saturday at Wrigley Field. There is no doubt in my mind that Quintana will want to return as a starter once he is healthy. However, Tyler Chatwood and Alec Mills both earned their starting spots, plus, the pen is lacking lefties, and dependable arms and Quintana could be a temporary fix for both of these issues.
Beyond 2020, the 31-year-old is set to hit the free-agent market. Since the ball club’s need for relievers is so imminent, why not trade Quintana? With the team’s current circumstances, if Quintana doesn’t want to be in the bullpen, chances are he wouldn’t even want to re-sign. In that case, he could be traded for a reliever. Who knows, maybe he could even be traded back to the South Side of Chicago, where the need is starting pitching.
Unfortunately, Quintana performed better on the other side of Chicago. Last season, he turned a 4.68 ERA, which is well above his career mark of 3.72. Throughout his time in a Chicago Cubs uniform, he has been inconsistent. For example, in August 2019 he posted a 2.02 ERA across six starts, and the very next month he posted an 11.09 ERA after five outings.
Having this in mind, as the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Cubs should reap the benefits and consider trading Jose Quintana to contend for the rest of 2020.