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MLB trade deadline: The quest to obtain starting pitches rages on

July 15th, 2017 at 5:37 PM
By Sports Media 101

CHICAGO â?? The competition officially began Thursday when Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs jumped the market while everyone was still weighing it.

The Cubs’ president of baseball operations made a brash move by acquiring left-handed starter Jose Quintana from the crosstown White Sox for four players, including outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the No. 5 overall prospect, and No. 84 prospect Dylan Cease, a hard-throwing right-hander.

That started what figures to be a contested two weeks when teams try to acquire the most coveted thing in all of baseball â?? viable starting pitching.

Sure, in the days leading up to the trade deadline, you’ll see some relievers and outfielders moved. But there is no more valued or coveted asset than a starting pitcher.

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Quintana’s numbers this year aren’t outstanding â?? 4-8 record, 4.49 ERA. But he’s a proven, durable starter with the ability to be solid No. 2 starter in any rotation.

Throw in his team-friendly contract â?? $29 million total over the next three seasons â?? and you can see why the pitching-starved Cubs acquired him before the Astros, Yankees, Brewers or Rockies tried to grab him.

“Everybody’s looking,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “Everybody’s always looking. So it makes it no harder than it was yesterday or last year or in 2010. Everybody’s always looking for starting pitching, particularly at this time of year. There are two 30- or 45-day windows. One is now, and one happens again in December and January, when you can actually access starting pitching, If you can’t access it now, you have that next window that opens, and there’s virtually no other time of the year when you can access starting pitching. These are those times.

“You don’t get ‘em in April. You …

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