Jose Quintana throws in the sixth inning against the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday in Denver, Colorado.
In a shocking blockbuster move that could have sudden impact on the National League Central race and that bolsters the Cubs’ rotation for the next three years, the Cubs landed trading-block prize Jose Quintana from the White Sox on Thursday for a four-player package that includes two of their top prospects.
No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, a power-hitting outfielder, and top-pitching prospect Dylan Cease, a 100-mph right-hander, go to the White Sox along with minor-league infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
It promises to be the biggest trade in history between the crosstown rivals.
Quintana is under club control through 2020. The Cubs take over the remaining $3.2. million of Quintana’s salary this year, and he’s owed $8.95 million next year before a pair of $10.5 million club options come into play.
The immediate effect for the Cubs is inserting a durable left-handed starter with an All-Star background into a rotation that has been their Achilles heel all season.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn traveled to Miami for All-Star events in recent days and is believed to have evaluated Jimenez — Baseball America’s No. 5-ranked prospect — during Sunday’s Futures Game.
Quintana, 28, was a 2016 All-Star and has a 50-54 record with a 3.51 ERA over the last six seasons with the White Sox. He has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last four seasons. This season, Quintana is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts for the White Sox.
Jimenez, 20, is batting .271 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 42 games with Single-A Myrtle Beach this season. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2013, and was the top prospect in the Cubs’ farm system.
Cease, 21, is 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts with Single-A South Bend this season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft.
Rose, 22, is batting .227 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI in 65 games with Myrtle Beach this season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2015 Draft.
Flete, 24, is batting .305 with six home runs and 37 RBI in 70 games with Myrtle Beach this season. He was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2012.