clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How the Jose Quintana deal went down

New, comments

The conversation started on Sunday when Jon Lester allowed 10 runs in the first inning to Pittsburgh. By Tuesday, Theo Epstein and Rick Hahn green-lighted the blockbuster deal.

MLB: Winter Meetings Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In today's world where information travels seemingly at the speed of light, the Chicago White Sox announced this deadline’s blockbuster midseason trade with, of all things, a press release.

While reporters and fans were looking at New York, Houston, and Milwaukee as possible destinations for Jose Quintana, it all transpired right under everyone's noses in Chicago. On Sunday, the day Jon Lester allowed ten runs in the first inning to Pittsburgh, White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn called Cubs president, Theo Epstein.

It only took two days for Epstein to decide that parting with the organization's top prospect was worth it for Quintana.

In a humorous tale he shared with Matt Spiegel and Laurence Holmes on 670 The Score, Hahn shared where the fateful phone call took place.

"We have this tradition, foolishly started by me — every year I take the family to the All-Star Game," said Hahn. "Used to be a time I can relax and be with the family. Unfortunately, the kids wanted to continue the tradition this year. On Tuesday morning, my son Charlie and I were at the Fanfest and got a phone call from Theo Epstein to give a thumbs up or down."

"I had to ditch Charlie and hide behind the Rawlings exhibit to have the call with Epstein."

During the All-Star Game, White Sox front office worked out the final details on players who would be included with Eloy Jimenez. Wednesday night is when the deal was official. Then, to everyone's surprise, the baseball world all found out at the same time that the blockbuster had been complete.

When asked about the quality of the return, Hahn compared Jimenez/Dylan Cease to that of Yoan Moncada/Michael Kopech, whom they received from the Chris Sale trade in December.

"Eloy we feel is one of the most exciting prospects in the game with one of the highest offensive ceilings. We feel he has the tools to become a solid defensive player in the corner of the outfield. In some ways, Kenny [Williams] and I view both Jimenez and Cease to having the same upside as Moncada and Kopech," said Hahn.

When asked how close Quintana was to being dealt in the offseason, Hahn mentioned that some deals got to the "5-yard line.”

Comparing what was offered in December to today, Hahn without hesitation said that the Cubs offer was far better than what was pitched to them last winter.

Now that a big piece has moved for a return that greater enhances the prospect pipeline, Hahn ended his interview with 670 The Score saying he looked forward to completing the interviews and using his phone to make more deals. With what he has already accomplished in building a new core after the Sale, Adam Eaton, and now Jose Quintana deals, White Sox fans can turn their attention to the return for David Robertson and others.