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Blockbuster Jose Quintana trade injects new energy into Chicago baseball

Around 11 last Thursday morning, a TSA official in the Bahamas threatened to confiscate my phone.

I kept staring at it in disbelief, incredulous, reading the words of an email from the White Sox as if trying to interpret a foreign language. The sign on the wall of the airport in Nassau clearly prohibited the use of electronic devices in a security line — but this irresistible news was worth bending the rules to digest. After all, this was a blockbuster deal still shaking the sports landscape back home in Chicago, the baseball trade that saved the summer from redundancy, released simultaneously by the Cubs and Sox at exactly 10:27 a.m.

This was the reason the cranky uniformed worker told me to shut off my phone or turn it over to the man lurking with a badge and a gun.

This was a lot to process while fumbling for my passport.

Days later, as reality slowly settled in after returning to our baseball city, the residue of surprise remains. Logic really prevailed. The Cubs really traded the Sox four minor-league players, including top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, for pitcher Jose Quintana, who will fit in at Wrigley Field as seamlessly as another patch of ivy. Cubs President Theo Epstein and Sox general manager Rick Hahn really did what so many of us had been clamoring for them to do for months.

What is going on in our sports town in 2017, the Year of the Transaction? This used to never happen, risk-averse pro sports executives doing something a consensus of fans and media have been urging them to do ad nauseam. Yet since April, every Chicago major-sports franchise has made a move bold enough to be accused of trying to sell newspapers or get web clicks.

The Bears traded up in the NFL draft to take quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall. The Bulls unloaded All-Star Jimmy Butler to begin their rebuilding. The Blackhawks dealt All-Star Artemi Panarin for forward Brandon Saad to shake things up. Heck, even the…

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