The Braves have been linked to several available starters this offseason. Whether it is through free agency or a trade, it’s clear that Alex Anthopoulos is leaving no stone unturned.
There was a reported offer to Aaron Nola revealed after he returned to Philadelphia, and then Atlanta was connected to Sonny Gray, who went on to sign a deal with St. Louis. With those two off the market, most pundits have shifted to the trade market.
Shane Bieber, Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, etc. have been floated as possible targets for the Braves, but only one of those starters has been linked to the Braves — the White Sox ace.
Atlanta has joined the Dodgers and several others who are engaged in trade talks with the Chicago White Sox for ace Dylan Cease.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 27, 2023
I don’t know how many people want to see that kind of trade come to fruition outside of Atlanta.
Dylan Cease is a Cy Young-caliber pitcher with multiple years of control and would join a starting rotation with two elite arms in Spencer Strider and Max Fried. Oh yeah, then there’s Charlie Morton, who would be the Braves’ fourth starter in any playoff series.
That would be the best rotation in baseball, with arguably the best bullpen, and the most powerful lineup in history returning all nine pieces. That’s not an envious vision for most people, but Kiley McDaniel of ESPN isn’t most people apparently. The MLB insider wants to see Dylan Cease traded to the Braves.
The Braves have been clearing roster spots and payroll space for a big move that many first thought would be signing Nola. Then there was buzz they could add Sonny Gray — who just signed with the Cardinals — but now it could be Cease, who’s from Georgia. I don’t think GM Alex Anthopoulos wants to add a rental pitcher, so Cease also fits the Braves’ needs with two years of control. That said, their farm system has just barely enough to make that deal — it might take three of the top five prospects to get in striking distance — so it would be close to an all-in deal for Atlanta. The Orioles also fit, as Dave said, and a deal would be much easier, as would one with San Diego.
Contrary to popular belief, the Braves have the pieces to entice the White Sox. Some combination of A.J. Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, Vaughn Grissom, and other prospects would certainly get Chicago’s attention. It would be Alex Anthopoulos’ decision because parting ways with all of those pieces without the guarantee of extending Cease would be difficult to stomach.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire