Yankees holding strong as talks for Chicago star pitcher intensify

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

Ideally, the Yankees would walk away from this off-season with a high-end starting pitcher to reinforce their 2024 World Series aspirations.

The simple truth is that the front office can’t stop now after landing Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster deal. You simply don’t add a Hall of Fame bat and stop right before the finish line when you have a chance to build something truly special.

Fortunately, general manager Brian Cashman has options and a bit of time at his disposal. With spring training still two months away and both Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell on the free agent market, Cashman is waiting patiently to find the right price.

Spending whatever it takes to land a pitcher over 30 years old could be a huge mistake, especially since Cashman can’t afford to have another bad contract holding the team back in the future.

The Yankees are Engaged in the Trade Market

Cashman has been having trade discussions over the past few weeks, most recently involving Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox and Jesus Luzardo of the Miami Marlins.

The Yankees seemingly aren’t willing to give up significant prospects at this time, holding firm as discussions for Cease intensify. According to Bob Nightingale of USA Today, teams have engaged with the White Sox regarding Cease, including the Yankees and Orioles.

“They have had serious trade discussions with about a half-dozen teams, currently including the Yankees and Orioles, but no one has stepped up and is willing to offer a package of at least two top-100 prospects and two other players.”

It is no secret why Cease is in such high demand since he’s only 28 years old and has two more years left of team control until he’s a free agent in 2026. While he’s coming off a down season in 2023, pitching 177 innings, and collecting a 4.58 ERA, he had a Cy Young caliber season in 2022. He enjoyed a 2.20 ERA over 184 innings, and for that value, Chicago wants a significant return.

The problem is that the Yankees will look at Cease and see a pitcher who’s only had one real dominant season over five campaigns, representing a slight risk. Trading some of their top prospects, which would include players like Spencer Jones and Chase Hampton, doesn’t seem like a good move.

Alternatively, Cashman may want to go for a cheaper option like Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians and wait until the trade deadline next summer to make a play on an expiring player like Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers. If the Brewers were out of playoff contention, or simply trending in the wrong direction, the Yankees could make a run for Burnes on a half-year rental before he hits free agency, hoping to leverage his quality for the playoffs.

It doesn’t seem as though Cashman is going to make any extreme move. Instead, waiting patiently for the right opportunity to cross his desk. They are holding strong when it comes to their top prospects and offering them up for Cease, and that is exactly what they should be doing since there are still alternatives available.

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