On Thursday morning, the Cubs made the first big trade of the season by acquiring Jose Quintana from the south side of town in exchange for four prospsects — most notably Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. The photo above is an artist rendition of what Cubs fans can expect he will look like donning his new hat.
The Cubs have been one of the biggest disappointments of the season and their sub-.500 record at the All-Star break is a far cry from the dominance they showed last year. One of their problems has been starting pitching. In 2016, their starters had a 2.96 ERA as a team — easily better than the runner-up Nationals number of 3.60. This year, they are struggling across the board and have an ERA of 4.66 from their starters. That is good for 17th in the MLB and not nearly good enough for Theo Epstein.
Rumor has it that the Cubs attempted to deal struggling big-boy Kyle Schwarber to the Tigers for the reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer. Once that was shot down, they decided to pull a Dave Dombrowski and cash in prospects for Quintana.
The southpaw has struggled this season for the lowly White Sox. His 4.49 ERA is the worst of his very consistent career, in which he had posted five consecutive seasons with an ERA between 3.20 and 3.76. At 28-years-old, Quintana isn’t exactly young, but he is under contract for three years after this one. Although they had to part ways with the #5 prospect in baseball in Jimenez and their best pitching prospect in Cease, they acquired an asset that can help them win this year and down the road.
How much does he help them, though?
|Future||7/14 (BetOnline)||Pre-Trade (BetOnline)|
|Playoff Odds||N/A||Yes: -155
|Win Total O/U||N/A||85|
Despite his down-year, Quintana’s presence in the Cubs’ rotation is expected to boost their chances. Although books still aren’t sold on them as one of the top World Series contenders (implied probability goes from 9.1% to 10%), they do expect the addition of Quintana to help them topple the mighty Brewers and win the NL Central. Their implied probability of winning the division has improved nearly 10%, from 54.6% to 63%.
The last two props were taken off the board and have not been reposted, but we can take an educated guess at what they would be. If the Cubs divisional odds improved from -120 to -170, the odds of them making the playoffs likely increased a tad more than that. Given that they were at -155 beforehand (60.8% implied probability), I would put them at around -220 or -230 now, close to a 70% implied probability. There’s no perfect way of converting this into wins, but I would estimate their new total would probably be 86.5 or 87.
Who do you think won this trade? Did the Cubs give up too much for a struggling pitcher or will he help them turn things around and contend for a second straight World Series?
Who won the #Quintana trade?
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) July 13, 2017
Feel free to comment below with any thoughts or questions.
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