HomeMLB RumorsLatest On Dylan Cease - MLB Trade Rumors

Latest On Dylan Cease – MLB Trade Rumors

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Dylan Cease remains atop the list of potential trade candidates for teams seeking rotation upgrades this offseason, but White Sox general manager Chris Getz isn’t backing off on his asking price in a trade, writes ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. Other clubs who’ve spoken to the Sox about Cease tell Rogers that the ask has been “multiple” top prospects with additional lower-end talent; the Sox aren’t open to dealing two affordable years of control over their top starter for a package centered around just one top-tier prospect.

That generally aligns with prior reporting that the White Sox asked the Reds for last year’s first-round pick, Rhett Lowder, and top prospects Edwin Arroyo and Connor Phillips in exchange for Cease. Other teams have similarly balked at the idea of parting with so much talent from the top end of their system.

Rogers reports that the Braves approached the Sox and dangled infielder Vaughn Grissom, among others, but were rebuffed. Grissom instead went to the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade. The Yankees, despite having known interest in Cease, aren’t likely to further deplete their farm after already acquiring Juan Soto (and Alex Verdugo) this offseason, per Rogers — at least not at the current asking price. Outfield prospect Spencer Jones, in particular, seems highly unlikely to be included in any potential deal, he adds. Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag that talks between the Red Sox and White Sox never gained traction, thanks to Chicago’s steep ask.

Despite the lack of traction in talks thus far, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic said in a Tuesday appearance on Foul Territory that he expects Cease to be moved prior to the season. The demand for starting pitching, as Rosenthal rightly observes, clearly outpaces the supply that’s available in free agency. Beyond that, the asking price on some other pitchers rumored to be available — Jesus Luzardo, in particular — would likely be even greater than the ask for Cease. Luzardo has three years of club control as compared to Cease’s two.

Each of the Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Giants, Dodgers and Padres, at the very least, could still use some degree of rotation upgrade. The Cardinals signed three free agents early in the offseason (Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson) but were reported to have interest in Cease even after making that trio of additions.

Getz, unsurprisingly, kept things close to the vest in his public comments yesterday. The newly minted general manager rattled off a series of familiar choruses, noting that Cease would only be moved for the right deal, that there was no urgency to make a swap given his remaining club control, and specifying that the majority of the league has shown at least some level of interest in the right-hander.

Cease is coming off a down season that saw him post a 4.58 ERA with a slightly diminished 27.3% strikeout rate. That’s down only by his lofty standards; he punched out 30.1% of his opponents a year prior while pitching to a sparkling 2.20 ERA that netted him a runner-up finish in American League Cy Young voting.

While last year’s ERA was unsightly, Cease still missed bats at a high level, sat just under 96 mph in terms of average fastball velocity, and notched a well above-average 13.6% swinging-strike rate. He’s also made a full slate of starts in each of the past four seasons, leading the Majors with 109 games started since 2020. Add in that Cease is projected for an eminently affordable $8.8MM salary in arbitration this winter (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz) and is controllable through the 2025 season, and his appeal becomes even more apparent.

Any team to acquire Cease would surely view him as a prime rebound candidate whom they can control for two seasons before recouping some prospect value in the form of a qualifying offer. An extension with Cease always remains a possibility, albeit perhaps a faint one. Clients of the Boras Corporation tend to test the open market, though there are plenty of examples of Boras clients who have instead signed extensions (e.g. Xander Bogaerts, Jose Altuve, Stephen Strasburg, Carlos Gonzalez — among others).

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