Crosstown Blockbuster: White Sox trade Jose Quintana to Cubs for Eloy Jimenez & 3 other prospects.

Oh baby! It’s officially trade season in the world of baseball. We’ve been sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the floodgates of the market to burst open, and this might be the trade that does it.

Earlier this morning, Jose Quintana was dealt from the Chicago White Sox to the Chicago Cubs for the No. 8 prospect, power hitting outfielder Eloy Jimenez, pitcher Dylan Cease, and infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.

Not exactly what I imagined waking up to this morning.

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This trade is beautiful for the baseball world and for both franchises. Here’s why:

  • This trade finally busts the myth that teams can’t trade crosstown or between the division. It’s always been looked down upon in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, but for what reason? Just so an amped up rivalry continues on without flare? Sox GM Rick Hahn and the Cubs front office entourage each helped their team move a step closer to what they’re looking to accomplish.
  • For the White Sox, they add a big time prospect and arguably the best bat in their system with Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez, 20, is only in Single-A, but was in Miami earlier in the week for the Future’s Game. While he isn’t proven at the major league level, he certainly is a prospect worth taking a risk on. While Jimenez has been crushing lightbulbs with baseballs in batting practice, Dylan Cease has flown under the radar. The Cubs No. 2 prospect and ranked No. 63 in all of baseball, Cease has pitched his way into the minds of every Cubs fan looking ahead into the future. Cease, 21, has put up terrific numbers with thirteen games started and a 2.79 ERA. Although Jimenez is the more enticing piece of the package, Cease is a name to watch out for in the White Sox system over the next couple years. The other two prospects acquired, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete, don’t even crack the top 30 Cubs prospects, but Rick Hahn saw something he liked. The Sox now own 9% of the Top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.
  • For the Cubs, they add the best available piece to their rotation. Quintana is 28 years old, proven in the big leagues, and under team control until 2020 with club options for 2019 and 2020 worth $10.5 million. Quintana has dealt with his fair share of troubles this year and is currently sporting a 4.49 ERA with a 4-8 record this season, but since June 1st, Quintana’s ERA is just 2.70 while the Cubs starting rotations ERA since then is… not great. And if anyone can make Quintana even better, it’s Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio. This puts the Cubs back in a great position to contend for the NL Central and the World… hold on, Patrick. One step at a time. Also, it takes Quintana off of the market for teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • A commonly asked question that I’ve seen on Twitter is, “was this return big enough for the (insert team name here)? I wish we could’ve gotten (insert Major League player here).” This trade gets done without the Cubs losing any of their current roster talent AND without the White Sox losing their minds. Quintana is perfect for the Cubs and four prospects is perfect for the White Sox. This comes out as a very fair deal and one that will be remembered for a long time in the city. See, GMs are doing what’s best for the team, not necessarily what makes the fans the happiest. When Eloy is hitting bombs at Guaranteed Rate and Quintana is pitching in World Series’ at Wrigley, I can’t imagine too many people will fret. This is the first crosstown Chicago trade since Neal Cotts and David Aardsma were swapped in 2006. The “stigma” of big crosstown trades is broken.

It’s a win-win for the Cubs, White Sox and Major League Baseball. Now sit back, relax and watch the dominoes fall across the league.

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Bryce Harper Linked To Cubs

Early Friday morning, MLB writer Peter Gammons joined The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score in Chicago. It seemed like the typical discussion about baseball on a sports radio network and in all honesty, it was… Until Gammons dropped a bombshell for Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs.

Projected to hit free agency after the 2018 season, Bryce Harper has been linked to the Cubs. According to Gammons, Harper would consider joining the Cubs and their core group with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in 2019. We’re still ways away from Harper potentially hitting free agency, but speculation about where Harper will play in 2019 has been a topic of discussion since his previous two-year contract extension with the Nationals.

There are a few things to consider:

  • Harper’s agent is Scott Boras. Boras is well known around the league for his tough negotiations and getting his clients every penny they deserve… and more.
  • Harper is only 24 years old. While chasing a championship will be on his mind, he’s got plenty of years to do so.
  • The New York Yankees have been previously rumored to be a possible destination for Harper.
  • It has been speculated that Harper could receive the richest contract in MLB history, possibly reaching the plus side of $400 million.
  • Kris Bryant and Harper both grew up in Las Vegas. Not really too important, but Harper and Bryant are reportedly close.

Obviously, more information will be posted as it becomes available and these are early reports that Harper may be interested in playing for Chicago, but any news about a superstar like Bryce Harper is worth noting. Stay tuned!

Barstool Sports: A Digital Media Powerhouse

Each and every day, the means for consuming sports improves. Whether it’s games, highlights or news, services across countless platforms allow fans to catch the latest about their favorite team in an instant on their smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. The digital era of sports media continues to grow and sites like Barstool Sports are thriving as they take advantage of the expanding market.

Panel and talk radio/television programming for networks like ESPN and FS1 has seemingly become obsolete to the new age of digital media available at our fingertips. The capabilities seem endless and Barstool continues to pounce on every opportunity. While employing writers to cover a wide range of topics to bring in new readers and keep long-time readers — or “Stoolies” — interested, they’ve expanded from being a simple blog to being a media powerhouse. Videos of pizza reviews in Manhattan to insight of the latest viral video are just some examples of the new content Barstool has pushed out daily. Their fresh minds, thoughts and hard work allowed for the opportunity of live television to present itself: a half hour episode of their internet series “The Rundown” for four nights on Comedy Central leading up to Super Bowl LI.

As they broadcasted live from Houston, Barstool’s brand continued its rapid increase. Truly immortalized after the creation of the popular slogan “Saturdays Are For The Boys”, Barstool Sports rose to legitimacy. And while this often creates pressure to release fresh and improving content 24/7, Barstool continues to rise to the occasion.

The standards for their content has improved and their reach continues to spread. With the help of CEO Erika Nardini to keep the bloggers in check, founder Dave Portnoy and co. have struck gold in many aspects of the online world, but their biggest success doesn’t come from constant blogging. Instead, it’s podcasting. As mentioned earlier, Barstool thrives on covering countless topics, so why not expand that coverage to podcasting? The first Barstool podcast goes back to KFC Radio, originally hosted by New York based blogger Kevin Francis Clancy — or KFC — but quickly after KFC Radio REALLY took off, Barstool flooded the market with podcasts. From Pardon My Take, a satirical take on the world of sports, to Fore Play, a podcast for golfers, Spittin’ Chiclets for hockey fans and more, Barstool continues to rake in new listeners episode by episode, click by click.

As an “Award Winning Listener” of Pardon My Take since it’s pilot in 2016, I have personally found the podcast and their humor to be hysterical, albeit possessing a seventeen year old’s sense of humor sometimes helps. Each podcast seems to cater to the listener’s wants and that’s where the success stems from that has kept each show up and running. As long as the people like what they hear, Barstool will continue its stranglehold on the sports media market.

When Portnoy sold a majority stake of Barstool Sports to The Chernin Group and announced that the team of bloggers would be relocating to a centralized headquarters in New York City, nobody really knew what to think or what the future would hold for the site. Sure enough, in the time since the buyout, Portnoy remained on board in charge of all content related operations and the overall quality of Barstool Sports and its content improved drastically.

For years, Barstool has been looked down on as unprofessional, and while that appearance hasn’t totally shifted, it sure has grown up into the digital powerhouse it was destined to become. By capturing every available possibility for growth, Barstool Sports has changed the game of sports media for the better.