3 Reasons It Was Smart The Chicago White Sox Traded Dylan Cease

Yes, the starting rotation will be awful, but the trade had to happen for these three reasons...

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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After an entire offseason of constant trade rumors, the Chicago White Sox finally traded Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres for three prospects and a relief pitcher.

The trade needed to be done despite the starting rotation now trending towards somewhere between mediocre at best and darn awful at worst. Who is ready for Erick Fedde to be the Opening Day starter?

Sarcasm aside, the Sox needed to move Cease for three reasons...

The team traded Cease when his value was its highest.

The White Sox got the process right. That rarely if ever happens on 35th and Shields.

The Sox made no indications they were going to extend Cease. Knowing ownership, they were never going to pay Cease the nine-figure long-term deal Dylan would eventually want. Plus, this team is now darn awful the contention window abruptly slammed shut last season.

The team is in a rebuild (we will get to that shortly). Cease was the biggest asset outside of the Luis Robert Jr. the Southsiders had to get a good return of prospects to help Rebuild 2.0 along.

Any team that acquired Cease would have him for two seasons since he is still arbitration-eligible next offseason. That means he is cheaper than free agents Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. He is also 28 and durable. That made him even more attractive.

You can point out that he had a disappointing 2023 season after nearly winning the AL Cy Young in 2022. He also finished with a 3.7 fWAR and 3.72 FIP. Plus, he still possesses the game's best slider when it is right. If he can command that pitch better and get better defensive help, he should return to dominant form.

He was having a good spring training. That was enough of a showcase to intrigue contenders to meet the team's demands.

His value was never going to be any higher than it is right now. Sure, the team could have held onto him, let him make his Opening Day start, and show he truly returned to Cy Cease form during the first half of the season. They then could move him at the trade deadline.

The risk there is he either gets hurt or he continues down this spiral and then the Sox are stuck with a depreciating asset.