Chris Getz is taking a gamble with Dylan Cease. The longer the White Sox general manager holds onto his ace the more leverage he loses. However, Getz is holding firm. USA Today’s Bob Nightingale reports that the White Sox believe that the Milwaukee Brewer’s return for Corbin Burnes, which included lefty D.L Hall and shortstop Joey Ortiz from the Baltimore Orioles, “should be the floor in what they should receive in return for ace Dylan Cease.”
The Orioles seemed like the most likely trade destination for Cease. They have a deep pool of prospects and a need for starting pitching. However, the recent trade for Burnes indicated that they are reluctant to trade away some of their top prospects.
Nightengale added that the Orioles had offered Getz “basically the same package for Cease, along with another player.” It is unclear who that player is. The White Sox likely wanted one of the Orioles’ top five prospects, all of whom are ranked inside MLB Piplines Top 100, included in the deal. Hall could find himself competition for a spot in the Brewers bullpen this season. Ortiz was No. 63 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list. While both have talent, the pair would have been considered a disappointing return for the White Sox from a large portion of the fan base.
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Getz has been clear he will not budge from his high asking price. As a result, there is a growing sense that Cease will remain on the White Sox Opening Day roster. Cease is the White Sox most valuable asset not named Luis Robert Jr. The potential return package for him will set the tone for the rest of Getz’s rebuild. While it may be frustrating for fans to see Getz playing the long game, Cease still has tremendous value. He is only owed $8 million next season and has two years of control. Burnes only has one.
Cease is also only 28 years old and carries a career 11.8 WAR and 3.83 ERA. The 2022 Cy Young runner-up is coming off a down season in which he posted a 4.58 ERA. However, he is just one year removed from a 2.20 ERA and a career-high 227 strikeouts. Cease has ranked inside the MLB’s top ten in strikeouts in each of the last three seasons.
Getz is banking that Cease can return to form, which will help raise when the trade deadline rolls around. However, this is still a massive gamble. Cease is not only going to have to improve but the pitch at a Cy Young level once again, since the team trading for him will only be getting a year and a half of control. But if Getz is going to be asking teams for a massive asking price, then he has no other choice but to gamble.