Yankees had ‘extensive’ trade talks for White Sox ace

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

The ideal scenario for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman would’ve been landing a star pitcher to pair with Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation.

Unfortunately, the Yankees are betting heavily on Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes to bounce back from injury-riddled seasons. Acquiring Marcus Stroman should give the rotation a nice boost, with several primary arms leaving in free agency, but Stroman is no Corbin Burnes or Blake Snell. He’s a solid pitcher who can toss 130 innings per season at a quality level, but the Yankees need that tier-one arm to take them to a World Series.

When Cashman gave Rodon a six-year, $162 million deal, the hope was that he would develop into a second-tier option behind Cole. However, he’s been nothing but disappointing since signing the contract. Despite dropping some weight and quelling more injury concerns, Rodon has struggled during spring training, which shouldn’t mean much, given this is his ramp-up process.

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The Yankees Tried Hard to Land Dylan Cease

However, the Yankees did extensive work on multiple pitchers, including Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease. At 28 years old, he is coming off his third consecutive season of pitching over 165 innings. He tossed 177 in 2023, hosting a 4.58 ERA, 10.88 strikeouts per nine, a 69.4% left-on-base rate, and a 36% ground ball rate.

Chicago didn’t get any realistic offers that swayed their opinion since they were demanding Spencer Jones be involved. However, if the White Sox are out of playoff contention by the All-Star break, the Yankees could reengage if Cease is having a good year.

“The Chicago White Sox never came close to receiving an offer for ace Dylan Cease that tempted them to trade him, despite extensive talks with the Yankees. They now plan to likely keep him until the July 30 trade deadline.”

Via Bob Nightengale of USA Today

Over five innings this spring, Cease hosts a 1.80 ERA, showcasing good stuff ahead of the regular season. Ultimately, the Yankees will have no choice but to make a move for another premium arm if the rotation struggles to remain healthy or consistent.

Cashman is certainly playing a risky hand, but adding Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo to the mix should provide substantially more offense, which may help cover up any pitching concerns.

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