As the Yankees continue their pursuit of the highly-coveted Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the team has remained relatively quiet on other potential pivots. As Jack Curry mentioned yesterday on YES Hot Stove, the team is optimistic and loves where they stand in the sweepstakes, but we could have gotten some insight as to how they’ll try and pivot from another report. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees are among the teams monitoring the market for RHP Dylan Cease.
Coming off of a difficult season where Cease went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 33 starts, he’s still commanding a high price as the Chicago White Sox look to rebuild for the future, but how do these two teams match up in a deal?
Should the Yankees Match the White Sox Asking Price?
This past season was a rough one for Dylan Cease, but the stuff and upside are tantalizing for the 27-year-old righty. A clean bill of health also really helps his case, making over 30 starts each of the last three seasons, sporting a 3.54 ERA and 12.6 fWAR over that stretch. It’s expected that the White Sox will receive an absolute haul for his services, and rightfully so, as teams are getting a pitcher who can pitch every fifth day and has the kind of repertoire that can win a Cy Young any season.
With a 115 Stuff+, he ranked sixth among qualified pitchers in the metric, and that’s due to an excellent four-seam fastball and slider combination that he relies heavily on. Last season, his slider was the best pitch in all of baseball with a +36 Run Value, but this past season it dropped to a mere +10, with his fastball dipping from +5 in 2022 to -3 in 2023. His curveball and changeup haven’t been high-usage pitches for him, but the regression of his curveball likely hurt him against left-handed hitters.
One of the top pitchers in baseball, Dylan Cease is going to command a pretty large return, and while the Yankees are likely capable of matching that price, will they inevitably do so? They’ll bid against teams like the Baltimore Orioles, who have richer farms than the Yankees, and New York would have to push all of their chips in to make this deal. Oswald Peraza could help the White Sox at second base, with his versatility around the infield allowing Chicago to have a defensively sound infielder who might show something with the bat, but the name it could come down to is Jasson Dominguez.
To clarify, I highly doubt that the Yankees are looking to trade Jasson Dominguez, but that is the kind of prospect you’d have to give up in order to land Dylan Cease. Spencer Jones, Everson Pereira, and Oswald Peraza certainly get the ball rolling, but the White Sox have made it clear that they’re going to ask for a lot in return. Perhaps this drags into the trade deadline, as they could value Cease similarly to Luis Castillo who the Yankees did offer Dominguez for. The price is what creates the uncertainty surrounding the Yankees and having serious interest in Cease, especially following the Soto trade.
From the Yankees’ side of things, you’re trading for a starter with all the upside in the world, but issues with pitching deep into games due to his command are also fair to mention. They aren’t getting a pitcher who has it all figured out, but rather one who needs to make some tweaks to return to their dominant form. It would be a lofty price to pay, and while Cease is certainly a top-of-the-rotation starter, it seems like a price the Yankees won’t end up matching given the prospect demand.