Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the Chicago Cubs.
CHICAGO CUBS (59-54), 1st in NL Central, 5.5 GB in NL Wild Card:
ACQUIRED: LHP Jose Quintana (from CWS), LHP Justin Wilson (from DET), C Alex Avila (from DET)
TRADED: C Miguel Montero (to TOR), OF Eloy Jimenez (to CWS), RHP Dylan Cease (to CWS), 1B/3B Jeimer Candelario (to DET), SS Isaac Paredes (to DET), INF Matt Rose (to CWS), INF Bryant Flete (to CWS)
The Cubs' sluggish start to 2017 had the club looking in from the outside at second consecutive division crown. Heading into the All-Star break, Chicago sat at 43-45 and a sizable 5.5 games back of the Brewers for the NL Central lead. In dire need of starting pitching and relief depth, Cubs President Theo Epstein took care of the club's weaknesses by swinging deals with the White Sox and Tigers for Jose Quintana, Justin Wilson, and Alex Avila.
Epstein and the Cubs wasted no time filling their rotation void, acquiring Quintana on July 13th in exchange for a prospect package headlined by top 100 prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, per Baseball America. While a deal between crosstown rivals was deemed unrealistic and arguably "impossible" by writers and fans alike, Epstein and White Sox GM Rick Hahn stressed that the deal simply made too much "baseball sense". Quintana, under club control through 2020, fits into the championship core of a Cubs roster that is in its prime window. And Jimenez and Cease, albeit both below AA in their development so far, help the Chisox stockpile organizational talent in the hopes of sustained success as the decade turns.
Although they were never publicly rumored to be pursuing Wilson up until the last minute, the Cubs were able to pull off a deal to send the left-handed reliever to the North Side on the eve of the non-waiver deadline. With little minor league talent left to deal from, the Cubs were forced to move their top prospect (but #5 preseason) third baseman Jeimer Candelario to the Tigers along with 18-year-old shortstop Isaac Parades. Yet with such a young crop of big league hitters, the Cubs were able to absorb the blow of dealing Jimenez and Candelario without dimming their future.
This year's deadline signaled the end of the Cubs' reign as a top-of-the-line farm system, but their efforts to add cost-controlled pitching bodes well for the club's championship window. With Quintana around for 3+ seasons and Wilson at the backend of Chicago's bullpen for 2018, the Cubs have hit the ground running in the second half looking to clinch a spot in October for the third consecutive season.
For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.