CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs, scuffling and inconsistent since winning the World Series, acquired ace Jose Quintana from the White Sox on Thursday in a major trade between crosstown rivals.
Trailing Milwaukee by 5 1/2 games in the NL Central at 43-45, the Cubs shook things up in a big way by acquiring Quintana, a 2016 All-Star. In exchange, the Cubs sent four prospects to the rebuilding White Sox: outfielder Eloy Jimenez, right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, and infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
Quintana, a lefty, is 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts this season. He went 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA last year and made his first All-Star team.
Quintana has pitched better lately after a slow start and is joining a rotation that hasn’t performed the way the Cubs envisioned. The North Siders’ starters rank 17th in the majors in ERA.
Ace Jon Lester got pounded for 10 runs in two-thirds of an inning in his most recent start against Pittsburgh. Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, has been inconsistent. Kyle Hendricks has been sidelined since June 4 because of tendinitis in his right hand, and John Lackey has a 5.20 ERA.