Dylan Cease Trade Rumors: White Sox Waiting For Top Free Agents To Sign

Although most MLB clubs are waiting on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to sign, trade discussions have been ongoing with a few aces on the block available for teams to acquire.

Corbin Burnes and Tyler Glasnow both present elite options with one year of team control and should be on the move this offseason, but the biggest trade target is Dylan Cease from the Chicago White Sox.

Cease has two years of control left, and despite a down 2023, he’s one of the most talented pitchers available, both in free agency and through trade.

While there was a belief a trade may come soon as talks for the right-hander increased, the White Sox are telling teams they will wait until some of the free agents are off the board, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

New White Sox general manager Chris Getz is telling clubs he likely will wait to move on right-hander Dylan Cease until after the top free-agent starting pitchers sign, according to major-league sources briefed on the discussions.

It makes sense for the White Sox to hold out on a trade. As options start to come off the board, teams will become more desperate to add a starter and would theoretically be willing to pay more for the right-hander.

There are also multiple teams looking for at least two starting pitchers, which includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, so even teams that acquire a starter may still look to add Cease.

Of course, a team could also blow the White Sox away with a trade offer sooner and get the deal done. But as of now, it appears the White Sox are going to remain patient.

Cease had a breakout season in 2022 when he pitched to a 2.20 ERA, 3.10 FIP and 1.11 WHIP in 184 innings, which earned him a second-place finish for the American League Cy Young Award. He also had a solid season in 2021, posting a a 3.91 ERA, 3.41 FIP and 1.25 WHIP.

The 28-year-old regressed this past season as he finished with a 4.58 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, along with an AL-worst 259 walks since the start of the 2020 season. However, the White Sox defense was the worst in baseball, so getting him into a better environment should help, as indicated by his 3.72 FIP.

Cease’s market reportedly includes the Dodgers, along with the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, and other mystery teams have also been involved with more than a dozen clubs checking in.

Dodgers ‘most aggressive’ for Dylan Cease trade

Although Cease’s market has been robust, the Dodgers have been making the strongest effort to acquire him.

Cease is under team control through 2025 by way of salary arbitration. Thus, any team that acquires Cease would have him in their rotation for at least two full seasons.

With questions surrounding the Dodgers rotation, Cease would bring some much-needed stability.

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