The Braves recently completed a trade, sending Michael Soroka to Chicago, along with Jared Shuster, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake and Riley Gowens in exchange for Aaron Bummer. But as our own Alex Lord pointed out over the weekend, Alex Anthopoulos may not be done dealing with the White Sox.
Chris Getz, who is the new GM of the Chicago White Sox, is reportedly listening to offers on all of his players, and nobody could fetch a bigger return than Dylan Cease. The Georgia native may be coming off an underwhelming season for his standards, recording a 4.58 ERA over 33 starts, but nobody is fooled about the talent. He’s 27 years old with one of the filthiest repertoires in the game and is under team control for two more seasons. The rebuilding White Sox would be wise to deal him for a haul while his value is sky-high.
The Braves farm system is weak; that’s no secret, but it’s not for a lack of talent at the top. AJ Smith-Shawver and Hurston Waldrep are two legit prospects that every club would like to get their hands on. Bryce Elder is also a young pitcher who’s already had major-league success. He’s not a free agent until 2029 and would interest a lot of rebuilding clubs. And if pitching is not your cup of tea? The Braves have Vaughn Grissom as well, who is 22 years old and is already one of the best bats at the AAA level.
Atlanta has just enough to swing a blockbuster trade if they so choose, and MLB Trade Rumors has them as a best fit for Dylan Cease.
- Braves: The Braves and White Sox have already gotten together on one fairly significant trade this offseason, and could make plenty of sense to do so again. With Kyle Wright out for the 2024 season and subsequently shipped off to Kansas City, the Braves are looking somewhat thin in the rotation with little certainty behind a front three of Max Fried, Spencer Strider, and Charlie Morton. An acquisition of Cease could take pressure off Morton as he enters his age-40 campaign as well as youngsters like Bryce Elder and AJ Smith-Shawver. Meanwhile, young infielder Vaughn Grissom is blocked by Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia up the middle in Atlanta but could immediately step into an everyday role at second base for the White Sox in 2024.
Other best fits listed by MLB Trade Rumors were the Reds, Rays, Dodgers, Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals. So, acquiring Cease is going to cost quite a bit and there will be no shortage of suitors, but that can be said about every starting pitcher. There’s no getting around it. The top starters in free agency are almost all going to fetch contracts north of $100 million, and if the Braves want to swing a blockbuster deal for an elite starting pitcher with multiple years of control, they will have to part ways with most, if not all of their best prospects.
However, they’ve done it in the past, and they may do it again. If that’s the route they choose, there might not be a better option than Dylan Cease, and perhaps they could convince him to sign a long-term extension with his hometown club prior to even playing a game as they did with Matt Olson and Sean Murphy.
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