So reporter Paul Skrbina of the Tribune asked White Sox general manager Rick Hahn whether he’d do it:
So is he willing to write letters to — or exchange phone calls and/or players with — Cubs GM Jed Hoyer?
“Absolutely,” he said. “Any deal we make is about maximizing the future of the White Sox. … So there is zero issue doing a deal with the Cubs or any of the other 28 teams after them,” Hahn said Tuesday before the Sox lost to the Twins 7-2 at Guaranteed Rate Field. “We’re about putting the White Sox in the best position. Hopefully, through our trades, both sides wind up winners.”
Obviously, the White Sox’ biggest trade chip is lefthander Jose Quintana, who has a team-friendly contract through 2020 (if you include club options for 2019 and 2020 at $10.5 million and $11.5 million respectively).
Quintana got off to a rough start this year but has been better over his last four starts (2.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 27 strikeouts and only one home run in 23 innings). He’d certainly look good in the Cubs’ rotation for the next three-plus years. At the end of the contract he’d be 31, so whoever he pitches for over those seasons is likely to get his best years.
What would it take for the Cubs to acquire Quintana? While the Cubs still have some very good prospects after the “graduations” to the big leagues of guys like Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, you are going to have to accept that at least one of the current top prospects (Ian Happ and Eloy Jimenez) would have to go to the South Side.
That would be tough to watch — but on the other hand, if Quintana could help the Cubs win another World Series or two, I don’t think you’d mind too much. I sure wouldn’t.
Assuming any call from Theo or Jed to Hahn would have to start with Happ or Jimenez, who else would the Cubs have to send to the White Sox to acquire Quintana?
The Cubs and Sox have not traded very often in recent years. Since the Cubs acquired Sammy Sosa (and Ken Patterson) from the Sox for George Bell in 1992, the teams have made swaps just twice — the horrific Jon Garland for Matt Karchner deal in 1998, and the trade involving relievers David Aardsma and Neal Cotts in 2006. Here’s a list of all the Cubs/White Sox deals made over the last 70 years.
The cost is likely to be high for Quintana, but I think I’d do it. The Cubs are going to need starting pitchers not only this year, but next year after John Lackey and Jake Arrieta likely depart via free agency.
If you’re Theo or Jed, who do you offer when you call Hahn?