Yankees still open to acquiring talented pitching trade target

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees looking to potentially add to their starting pitching depth even after the addition of Marcus Stroman on a two-year $37 million deal, Bob Nightengale drops an interesting nugget on their pursuits. In his Sunday Notebook, he reports that the Yankees are ‘still open to’ acquiring Dylan Cease from the Chicago White Sox, but still refuse to trade away Spencer Jones, who is one of the best outfield prospects in all of baseball. They were also asked for Spencer Jones in talks with the Milwaukee Brewers for Corbin Burnes but rejected the proposal before he was sent to the Orioles.

If the Yankees want to land one of the top pitchers on the trade market they’ll need to give up some big-time prospects, but are they willing to bite the bullet on the costs or wait until the trade deadline to make a move?

Dylan Cease Still Remains in Play for the Yankees

MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox, dylan cease
Aug 7, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease (84) pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox were expected to trade Dylan Cease to the Baltimore Orioles all winter, as it was an obvious match between the top farm system in baseball and one of the better pitchers in the game. It only became more clear as the asking price for the right-hander was reaching heights that most teams were uncomfortable paying. It is fascinating that the White Sox are placing such a high price tag considering how poor his 2023 season was, but given his upside and the way the market has gone for pitchers, they might still get a team to bite eventually.

While he did struggle last year, it’s still clear that the talent is all the way there, Dylan Cease has a power fastball and brilliant slider that allowed him to cross the 200-strikeout threshold for the third-straight season in a row. He’s made over 30 stars in each of his last three seasons as well, leading all of baseball (97), but the innings haven’t matched that volume. Dylan Cease can struggle with pitching deep into games, and that’s something the Yankees have to account for as they poke around and see what it would take to land his services.

It was also speculated by Andy Martino of SNY that the New York Yankees could add a pitcher through the trade market, as he reported that the team was not completely satisfied with their starting pitching additions. Dylan Cease would certainly be a huge addition to the Yankees’ rotation, slotting in behind Gerrit Cole and ahead of Carlos Rodon, and forming one of the best rotations in the sport. One question that would linger is what the Yankees would do with a pitcher like Clarke Schmidt, although he could be traded in a package for Cease if the White Sox wanted pitching.

When it comes to prospect capital, the Yankees certainly have what it takes to land the Cy Young runner-up in 2022, sporting one of the 10 best farm systems in baseball according to various outlets. Whether the Yankees choose to deal from that pool of prospects now or later however remains to be seen, and it’s not as if there aren’t concerns with Dylan Cease as well. He lost a tick of velocity on the fastball, seeing a serious drop off in Stuff+ across the board in 2023, which is worth mentioning in any trade conversation.

Perhaps the Yankees revisit this in July when Dylan Cease has established himself once again, as the White Sox aren’t forced to trade him with his two full seasons of control.

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