This domino needs to fall for the White Sox to trade Dylan Cease

The Chicago White Sox are eventually going to trade Dylan Cease.
Chicago White Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Trading Dylan Cease seems like a guarantee for the Chicago White Sox at this point. He has had a great career up to this point as they developed him from a high-end prospect into a very good starter.

Dylan Cease has even shown that he can be elite. In 2022, he was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. For a minute, it looked like the White Sox had a guy who could be an ace for the next decade.

Cease came in second place for the American League Cy Young Award thanks to his 14-8 record, 2.20 ERA, and 227 strikeouts in 184.0 innings pitched (32 starts). His WAR of 6.4 showed just how good he was.

In 2023, he came back down to earth. He went 7-9, with a 4.58 ERA, 1.418 WHIP, and a 2.4 WAR. He did strike out 214 batters in 177.0 innings pitched (33 starts) which is good. It wasn't a horrific year but it was far from the MVP-caliber year he had in 2022.

Look for a Dylan Cease trade after Yoshinobu Yamamoto signs

The White Sox were truly awful (61-101) during 2023 so it didn't make things any easier on Cease. Being a good starter on a team that bad isn't easy and it showed. There is plenty of belief that he can return to his high-end form if he is on a good team.

Trading him for future assets will help both parties as the White Sox could be getting better in the future while Cease would have a chance to pitch well on a good team again. There are plenty of teams in the market for good starting pitching.

It felt like Cease was going to be traded during the Winter Meetings but then the White Sox pulled out of the conversations. They are going to get back out there but they are waiting for the market to favor them.

There have been a few dominos that need to fall to get that deal done. One of them was Shohei Ohtani. He isn't going to pitch in 2024 but in 2025 and beyond, being a two-way player makes him so special.

He is with the Los Angeles Dodgers now so that is settled. The White Sox still have to wait until Yoshinobu Yamamoto signs with someone. That will make teams that missed him more desperate for a good starter.

There are still other good free agents like Blake Snell, Marcus Stroman, and Lucas Giolito, but Cease may clear them all in terms of value. He has the potential to be an elite starter on a team-friendly deal.

Once Yamamoto signs, expect the White Sox to bring Cease conversations back. They might as well trade him now while he still has some value. Letting him pitch on their horrible team in 2024 may lower it which is not ideal. We should see this (Yamamoto) resolved very soon.

Next. The 15 worst contracts in Chicago White Sox history. dark