Chicago Cubs searching for last year's magic entering set with Baltimore Orioles

With the first half of the season over with, baseball analysts believe the Cubs should be active in trade talks in order to get things back on track.

The Cubs have spotted the surprising Milwaukee Brewers a 5.5-game lead in the NL Central division.

The White Sox spent between $90 million and $119 million on team payroll every season from 2012 to 2016 but haven't made a playoff appearance since 2008. Starter Jose Quintana is heading to the Cubs in exchange for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose, and Bryant Flete. Before the trade, they had MLB Pipeline's top prospect in the game with Yoan Moncada. If Chicago can somehow bring in Gray to join an already impressive staff, it's hard to imagine the team not making a second-half surge. The Royals are in danger of losing a number of their core players to free agency as the contracts end for the likes of Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas following this season.

Acquiring Sonny Gray, for the Cubs, will certainly add depth to their rotation in the next few years since John Lackey is on his way out at age 38.

"I do like what this trade has a chance to do for us in 2017, but the primary factor really is what it does for our four-plus-year window that we're looking at going forward". Quintana has struggle some this year, but the Cubs are a better fielding team than the White Sox and being in a pennant race should sharpen his focus.

With the addition of Jimenez and Cease, the White Sox have nine of the Top 100 prospects in baseball, according to MLB.com.

Now, who would have thought that he'd still be wearing a White Sox uniform in July?

The Cubs won the World Series with Chapman closing in 2016, so they can be forgiven for splurging and giving up a guy who now ranks as Baseball America's No. 3 prospect. Eloy was batting.271 with six doubles, eight home runs, and 32 RBI in 32 games this season.

That is par for the course for the White Sox who have been the model to follow when rebuilding an organization.

Bryant Flete is playing well at high A this year, but he has already been in the minors for almost six years. He's been very good since then, though (2.70 ERA in seven starts), so the timing was right for a deal.

Note: Kyle Hendricks is expected to make his second minor league start Tuesday for Class AA Tennessee. Those contracts belong to last year's 20 game victor, J.A. Happ, and the 2015 MVP in Josh Donaldson.

Can the Seattle Mariners get a good performance from their ace and pick up a road win over the Chicago White Sox when these two teams meet tonight at 7:10PM ET? They have plenty of work to do to get their own operation back on a winning track. "But ultimately the Cub deal was far and away the most attractive given the potential impact of the prospects in that deal".

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