Why the Jose Quintana trade makes sense for the White Sox and was a great deal

The baseball world was set for a nap on Thursday, but instead Chicago rocked it to its core. Jose Quintana was traded to the Cubs for a nice package of prospects. 

I know in our world of screaming heads and hot takes, we have to immediately start yelling about why one team fleeced the other, but what if that's the wrong take? I will now attempt to provide a reasonable breakdown of why the trade makes sense for both sides. 

You can read why this was also a good deal for the Cubs side here. If you prefer to take the White Sox's side, let's dive in. 

Why the White Sox made a great deal

Having traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton last offseason, the White Sox are clearly in rebuild mode. We knew this, of course, but seeing them sitting 38-49 at the All-Star break only reinforces the point. We knew Quintana was going to be traded -- just like David Robertson will and likely a few others -- it was just a matter of what the White Sox got back. 

Quintana was 10th in AL Cy Young voting last season and is under team control on a relatively cheap contract through 2021, so clearly the White Sox needed to get a lot back. When he had a 5.60 ERA through May, things weren't going so well. He's been very good since then, though (2.70 ERA in seven starts), so the timing was right for a deal. 

General manager Rick Hahn struck and he struck potentially big. He went for upside here and there's a lot of it. 

Eloy Jimenez is 6-foot-4, over 200 pounds with lots of muscle. He has light-tower power (literally!). Last season in Class A, he hit .329/.369/.532 with 40 doubles and 14 homers in 112 games. Most outlets consider him a top-10 prospect in all of baseball at this point. There's All-Star upside here. 

With the White Sox's eyes clearly on the future instead of the present, it makes all the sense in the world to get Jimenez back as the main piece in dealing Quintana. 

Of course, there's more. 

Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease was ranked in the top 100 prospects during spring training by multiple outlets. So far this season in Class A, he's pitching to a 2.79 ERA and has struck out a whopping 74 hitters in 51 2/3 innings. The former sixth rounder still walks too many, but the missing-bats potential here is the focus as Hahn looks for future upside. 

Bryant Flete is hitting .305 with a .355 OBP in Class A-Advanced right now. The diminutive 24-year-old can play all over the diamond. 

Matt Rose is a corner infielder/DH who is only hitting .227 with a .281 OBP in Class A-Advanced right now, but he's shown good power in the past two seasons. He hit 17 homers in 101 games last year and has 14 homers in 65 games this year. 

Again, notice the upside. 

In all, Hahn isn't done with his rebuild but he's unbelievably revamped a once-barren farm system. Per MLB.com, the White Sox now have the numbers 1, 8, 23, 28, 36, 59, 63 and 68 in the top 100 prospects in baseball and that's thanks in large part to the Sale, Eaton and Quintana trades. 

Not all prospects hit, so stockpiling the most high-upside guys possible is a good way to help ensure that the rebuild is successful. So far, Hahn is doing an incredible job. And he still has Robertson, Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier and -- hell, why not? -- maybe even Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia who could be dealt. 

The White Sox are in good shape on a turnaround here in the future and that's thanks to Hahn getting back excellent returns on selling off his most attractive veterans. The Quintana move was the third such deal. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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