However, although the Dodgers need to keep the defending champs on their radar, fans should not help but feel like the team missed out on Quintana.
By landing the 2016 All-Star, the Cubs made it clear they're not giving up on a hard season after arriving at the break two games under.500. While Theo & Co. finally have what they've been seeking for a couple of years.
In Quintana, the Cubs are getting a mainstay of the Sox's rotation. "We own the fact that we had a bad first half". But you also never know how things will shape up for us. Over the winter, GM Rick Hahn traded Sale and Eaton to Boston and Washington, respectively, for an outrageous stable of prospects. The Sox sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Cubs for prospects Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete. He went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA previous year and made his first All-Star team. Over the last three seasons Quintana had a 3.29 ERA in 614 2/3 innings pitched, and after posting a 5.60 ERA through the end of May this season, he has a 2.70 ERA in 40 innings over his last seven starts.
Hahn essentially had a pick of two other lower-level prospects to complete the deal.
The previous trade took place in 2007 when the Chicago White Sox traded Neal Cotts for Carlos Vasquez and David Aardsma. "Obviously, we all know they're in their window of (trying to win) championships, and to their credit, they're seeking that opportunity to make the most out of the day". It could be instrumental for both Chicago organizations.
Instead, the Cubs are struggling to come through with big hits. Cease is 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA (18 R/16 ER) and limiting batters to a.213 average across 13 starts. Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award victor, has been inconsistent. Quintana will start Sunday's game for the Cubs. With a surplus of starting pitchers, the Dodgers best bet was to package an existing arm with prospects. "He couldn't be a better fit for our situation". Jimenez and Cease are the headliners, and in this case it seems as though the Sox did fairly well in grabbing them.
They just rearranged it a little, and they hope in the process rearranged the 2017 race in not just the National League Central but perhaps the entire National League.
"It wasn't easy to parcel everything together, but then by Tuesday morning I was at FanFest with my son Charlie in Miami and I got a call from Theo", Hahn recalled.
Quintana was arguably the biggest trade asset in baseball considering his skill, contract structure and the rebuilding status of the White Sox; rumors swirled around that the two teams would not trade with each other and that narrative is out the window now.
Quintana is among the American League leaders in games started (tied for fifth) and strikeouts (tied for eighth).
It was a year ago that Hahn declared the White Sox were "mired in mediocrity" after their plans to contend in 2016 drastically diminished.
Quintana is about as great of an answer as you can get. But I think it's important not to overreact to that. I think we've made potentially a tremendously impactful worldwide signing in Luis Robert.
"We need to play well". So how did we get here?