Yankees could pivot to White Sox ace to combat Orioles’ Corbin Burnes acquisition

mlb: oakland athletics at chicago white sox, dylan cease, yankees
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Baltimore Orioles’ acquisition of Corbin Burnes, the New York Yankees and GM Brian Cashman could spark a reactionary move.

Chicago White Sox’s Dylan Cease emerges as a potential target, offering durability and promising upside to support the rotation. This potential pivot reflects the Yankees’ proactive approach to maintaining competitiveness within the AL East.

Evaluating Trade Possibilities with Chicago

In 2023, Cease struggled, potentially as a result of the pitch clock being introduced. Throwing 177 innings, Cease recorded a 4.58 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 10.88 strikeouts per nine, a 69.4% left-on-base rate, and a 36% ground ball rate.

Pitching over 165 innings in the past three seasons and a notable 2.20 ERA in 2022, Cease presents an attractive option for the Yankees looking to strengthen their rotation — he’s but together a Cy Young-caliber season already. However, the trade dynamics are complex, given Cease’s two additional years of control before free agency, contrasting with Burnes’ imminent free agency after the upcoming season.

Negotiations with the White Sox would require the Yankees to potentially offer significant prospects or draft capital. The scenario suggests that acquiring Cease could involve trading top prospects like Chase Hampton or Spencer Jones, a decision that would require careful consideration given the prospects’ high potential.

Yankees’ Cautious Approach and Financial Considerations

Cashman’s cautious stance in recent weeks, refraining from significant signings in the rotation or bullpen, underscores strategic patience in roster development.

Discussions around a deal with Blake Snell further illustrate the complexities of balancing talent acquisition with financial prudence. The Yankees recognize the need for additional talent to contend seriously for the World Series, especially in light of the Dodgers’ formidable acquisitions.

The financial aspect of any trade or signing plays a critical role, especially with the Yankees seemingly not willing to push beyond $300 million in total active payroll. While Cashman navigates these limitations, the potential for strategic exceptions exists if an opportunity aligns with the team’s long-term objectives and offers tangible improvements.

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