Cubs acquire pitcher Jose Quintana from the White Sox

Cubs acquire pitcher Jose Quintana from the White Sox”

Then yesterday came reports that the Cubs were still pursuing A's starter Sonny Gray even after acquiring Jose Quintana.

The departure of the 28-year-old Quintana leaves a giant hole in Chicago's rotation. Schwarber hammered Kevin Gausman's next pitch to almost the exact spot.

Oddly enough, another player that went from the White Sox to the Cubs was also talked about a lot on Twitter. He last pitched versus the Rockies on Saturday, allowing three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings and coming away with a no-decision despite striking out 10. "The first half has ended for me now, and I'm focused on the second half. Instead, he was always supportive and continued to go about his business and set a wonderful example for the other young players in our clubhouse".

The Cubs and White Sox struck a big deal on Thursday. Theo Epstein is of course not saying, but he did say it's up to the team. "We're going to see how we play, too", said Epstein.

Really though, it all comes down to pitching.

The Chicago Cubs have acquired left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana from the crosstown White Sox in exchange for top hitting prospect Eloy Jimenez, top pitching prospect Dylan Cease, and Class-A infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete. "If we get hot like we were in April, we've got as good a shot as anybody". The Cubs signed Jimenez for $2.8 million on August 1, 2013 as a foreign free agent. "He was very cautious with it and hopefully he'll get repaid for his patience".

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon said his team is going to lean heavily on its offense to make a strong push for the playoffs. He was operating for much of the first half without his best starter (Tillman) and shutdown reliever (Britton), and also had to adjust after injuries to Hardy, Davis, reliever Darren O'Day and catcher Welington Castillo, who made two trips to the disabled list.

Not everyone underperformed in the first half.

The Cubs will continue to look for more deals with the July 31 trade deadline approaching.

The list of squads who would love to add Stanton is long. "It was painfully obvious (Quintana) was trying to throw at me because it was two feet behind me", Zobrist said at the time. But, in the two before, he pitched 12.1 shutout innings. So, operating on the theory that things can't possibly get any worse, the Orioles fully expect to bounce back in the second half.

The Astros are also looking for bullpen help and have inquired on the Tigers' closer Justin Wilson.

While this loss was one of the more painful of the season, the team showed serious tenacity.

Cease, 21, was the Cubs' No. 2 overall prospect, taken in the sixth round of the 2014 draft.

"It feels good to come out with that win", Russell said.

The Giants will be sellers this year according to president Brian Sabean who named Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford as the team's untouchables.

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