MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Target White Sox SP Dylan Cease amid Gerrit Cole’s Injury

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Target White Sox SP Dylan Cease amid Gerrit Cole’s Injury

Adam WellsMarch 12, 2024

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21: Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch during a live batting practice session during a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 21, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

As the New York Yankees await results from Gerrit Cole’s MRI, it appears Dylan Cease is back on their radar.

Per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the Yankees have made a new proposal to the Chicago White Sox for the right-handed pitcher.

Nightengale did note New York’s offer doesn’t include outfield prospect Spencer Jones.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Monday that Cole was having an MRI on his right elbow after experiencing difficulty bouncing back between starts.

“He described it as his recovery before getting to his next start has been more akin to what he feels during the season when he’s making 100 pitches,” Boone said. “When he’s throwing 45 and 55, he usually doesn’t have the recovery issues he’s having. It’s just been more of a challenge and more taxing, so we’re going to get an MRI just to see what we’re dealing with there.”

Boone said on Tuesday there’s no official update, but Cole will undergo more tests on Tuesday. He also said based on the timing of things, even if they get positive news, it’s unlikely the reigning AL Cy Young winner will be ready for the start of the regular season.

Erik Boland @eboland11

Boone said no update on the Cole MRI. Will undergo more tests today. But also acknowledged the obvious: regardless of the results, because of where Cole is in his buildup he likely won’t be ready for te opener & the org has discussed who that would be. The guess here is Stroman

The White Sox spent most of the offseason shopping Cease around to interested teams. No deal ever came together, in part because Jon Heyman of the New York Post and MLB Network quoted one general manager as saying Chicago wanted “the sun and the moon” for the 28-year-old.

Nightengale reported on Sunday the White Sox had “extensive talks” with the Yankees about Cease, but they “never came close to receiving an offer” that tempted them to say yes.

If the Yankees do have long-term concerns about Cole’s elbow, they have plenty of options to choose from. If they want to add an impact pitcher without trading away the prospect capital it would require to get Cease, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are still on the free-agent market.

Cease is arguably better than both of those pitchers right now. His 4.58 ERA last season was inflated by a terrible White Sox defense, but he still struck out 214 hitters in 177 innings. He’s been durable with 97 starts over the past three years.

New York’s rotation behind Cole has many question marks. Marcus Stroman was signed as a free agent in January after posting a 3.95 ERA with the Chicago Cubs in 2023. Carlos Rodón is looking to rebound after a terrible debut season in the Bronx with a 6.85 ERA in 14 starts.

The Yankees will begin the 2024 regular season on March 28 against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Cease is currently slated to be Chicago’s starter for its Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers.

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