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The Cubs and White Sox don’t trade very often

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This is the first deal between North Side and South Side in almost 11 years.

Ron Santo in an unfamiliar uniform in 1974
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Of course, the news of the Jose Quintana trade broke while I was on I-70 in the middle of Indiana. I’m heading to Baltimore for this weekend’s series, so thanks to Josh for posting the trade news earlier today.

It was a rare deal, this Cubs/White Sox trade, and there had been talk that the Sox wouldn’t deal with the Cubs, but of course they would if they got what they wanted. Both teams did. The Sox got prospects who might or might not pan out, and the Cubs got a controllable starter for the next three-plus years. Quintana’s had some rough outings this year, but he has a 2.70 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 40 innings since June 1. That’s the pitcher the Cubs wanted, and he will really solidify the rotation.

The last deal made between the two teams involving major leaguers went down November 16, 2006, when the Cubs sent David Aardsma to the Sox for Neal Cotts. Cotts had one decent year and one bad one for the Cubs and then was out of baseball having Tommy John surgery. He returned and had a couple of good years for the Rangers and Brewers and retired after 2015.

Here are all the other trades made between the Cubs and White Sox over the last 50 years (and many thanks to baseball-reference.com for their complete team-by-team trade database). There are just 13 such deals (besides the Cotts/Aardsma trade), which include three that were cash-only.

September 1, 1970. The Cubs purchased Bob Miller from the White Sox.

November 30, 1970. The Cubs traded Pat Jacquez, Dave Lemonds and Roe Skidmore to the White Sox for Ossie Blanco and Jose Ortiz.

June 2, 1972. The Cubs sold Phil Regan to the White Sox.

December 11, 1973. The Cubs traded Ron Santo to the White Sox for Ken Frailing, Steve Stone and Steve Swisher and a player to be named later. The White Sox sent Jim Kremmel (December 18, 1973) to the Cubs to complete the trade.

August 18, 1977. The Cubs traded Steve Renko to the White Sox for Larry Anderson and cash.

March 28, 1981. The Cubs traded Dennis Lamp to the White Sox for Ken Kravec.

August 15, 1981. The Cubs traded Lynn McGlothen to the White Sox for a player to be named later. The White Sox sent Bob Molinaro (March 29, 1982) to the Cubs to complete the trade.

November 29, 1982. The Cubs purchased Jay Loviglio from the White Sox.

December 10, 1982. The Cubs traded Ty Waller to the White Sox for Reggie Patterson.

January 25, 1983. The Cubs traded Scott Fletcher, Randy Martz, Pat Tabler and Dick Tidrow to the White Sox for Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar.

April 30, 1990. The Cubs traded minor-leaguer Frank Campos to the White Sox for Bill Long.

March 30, 1992. The Cubs traded George Bell to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson.

July 29, 1998. The Cubs traded Jon Garland to the White Sox for Matt Karchner.

Despite the small number of deals between the two teams, several of them were of significance. There is, of course, the Santo trade, made after Ron became the first player to exercise 10-and-5 trade rights under the CBA of the time. (It became known for a time as the “Santo Clause.”) The Cubs did get three decent years out of Steve Stone from that deal before he rejoined the White Sox as a free agent.

The Cubs also got good value from the Steve Trout deal, getting several good years from him before trading him away. Had they kept the guy they got for him in 1987 — Bob Tewksbury — that would have been a good trade too, but they gave up on Tewksbury too soon.

The Sammy Sosa trade, you are certainly familiar with, and of course the Cubs got more than a decade of home run excitement from that deal. Bell played just two years for the Sox before retiring.

The worst of these deals, from a Cubs standpoint, was Ed Lynch shipping Jon Garland, who had been the Cubs’ No. 1 pick the year before, for a mediocre middle reliever. Garland went on to post 22.2 bWAR in a 13-year big-league career. Karchner was out of baseball two years later.

Hopefully, the current trade between the two clubs will work out better for the Cubs. Quintana is a solid, consistent lefthander who has made at least 32 starts each of the last four years. He’ll almost certainly pitch against his old team later this month; that ought to be an interesting scene, whether it’s on the South Side or the North Side.