Friday, July 14, 2017

Is Jose Quintaña trade the next Jon Garland deal? Or next Sammy Sosa?

The only surprising part about the Chicago White Sox trading away their top pitcher on Thursday is where he wound up – many baseball fans were convinced Jose Quintaña would wind up wearing the pinstripes and interlocking “NY” logo of the New York Yankees.
Changing uniforms, but not his home city

Instead, Quintaña is going to the Chicago Cubs; who gave up four ballplayers in their minor league system. Including the two who supposedly were the top prospects they had for their future.

IT’S ONE OF those deals that could come back to bite the Cubbies on their behind if any of those young ballplayers develops into a key to the White Sox’ next championship ballclub – whenever in the future that may occur.

It would be the Cubs’ luck that the “Cuban revolution” taking place on the Sout’ Side will win a pennant, and one of these no-longer-a-Cub players will get the key hit to win the Sox their second world series of this century.

Of course, baseball fans know there always is uncertainty.

For it also could turn out that Quintaña could be the key to gives the Cubs a jolt this season and helps them return to the form that enabled them to win their first World Series of this century just last year.

IN WHICH CASE, it would be just like the White Sox to provide the key piece to enable the Cubs to be able to claim to have more World Series titles in recent years (’05 for the White Sox and ’16 for those baby blue bears) than they do.
Cubs fans' fantasy all-Chicago trade?

So this trade is a gamble, as much of baseball always is. No one knows for sure how things will turn out, and we’ll probably need to wait a couple of decades before we can definitively say if somebody seriously screwed up with Thursday’s deal.

Could this wind up like the 1998 trade where long-forgotten pitcher Matt Karchner went to the Cubs for a minor league ballplayer who turned out to be Jon Garland – one of the starting pitchers who led the White Sox to that ’05 World Series championship.
The White Sox fans' retort

I’m sure that’s the dream from the perspective of 35th Street.

ALTHOUGH UP AT Clark and Addison streets, they’re probably thinking more along the lines of that 1992 trade where the Cubs gave up an aging (but still capable) George Bell in exchange for a young outfielder whom the White Sox had written off as too stubborn to learn new ways of improving himself as a ballplayer.
Both of these Steves pitched better ...

Some six years later, Sammy Sosa hit those 66 home runs in a season and began that six-season streak in which he began bashing home runs at a pace only matched by Babe Ruth at his 1920s peak.

Which for a while made Cubs fans want to think of this trade as some sort of ultimate steal. Except that with all the steroid speculation that the rumor mill insists on tagging to Sosa, there are many White Sox fans who feel nothing but relief that their favorite ballclub doesn’t have to live with that albatross around its neck.
... for the other Chicago ball club

According to the Chicago Tribune, this is the 15th time the two Chicago ballclubs have made trades with each other. We’ll have to see how things pan out.

THERE WILL BE some White Sox fans who will give extra scrutiny to outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease – who are now part of the Sox’ future rather than the Cubs. Although considering that the Cubs had these ballplayers this season at teams in South Bend, Ind., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., it would seem that maybe 2019 is the soonest we’ll see them in Chicago.
Still a freakish image to contemplateS

Although it wouldn’t be unheard of for one team’s player to have better luck on the other side of Chicago. I still remember former Cub Steve Stone (yes, the broadcast guy) being a key pitcher for that 1977 White Sox team that seriously contended for a championship, while Steve Trout (a local boy from suburban South Holland) missed being a part of the ’83 White Sox team that went to the playoffs but made up for it the following year by being a part of that ’84 division-winning Cubs ballclub.

So what’s it going to be for Quintaña?

Will Thursday go down in baseball history “infamy” for this trade? And on which side of Chicago will it wind up being detested, while beloved by the other part of the local baseball fandom?


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