Yankees favor Dylan Cease over Blake Snell; stats indicate a potential bargain

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease adjusts his cap in the dugout during a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Chicago.

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The New York Yankees are at a pivotal juncture in their offseason strategy, aiming to reinforce their pitching rotation for the 2024 season. A notable development, as reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, is the Yankees’ apparent preference for Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease over pursuing the services of free agent Blake Snell.

Negotiations are at a standstill

Dylan Cease during a White Sox's photo shoot session.
Michael Reave

The intrigue surrounding the Yankees’ interest in Dylan Cease took an unexpected turn, injecting a fresh layer of complexity into an already dynamic offseason narrative. While the Bronx Bombers have not displayed an overt urgency in pursuing Snell, recent reports suggest a recalibration of their stance. However, the plot thickens with the emergence of another potential game-changer—Dylan Cease.

The allure of Dylan Cease is tempered by the realization that his acquisition hinges on a trade deal, a path laden with its own set of challenges. Negotiations with the White Sox, as disclosed by Nightengale, are currently “at a standstill.” The stumbling block centers around the White Sox’s demand for Yankees outfield prospect Spencer Jones in exchange for Cease. The Yankees, invested in the potential of Jones, are reluctant to part ways with this promising asset, creating a standoff in the negotiations.

Battle stats: Blake Snell vs. Dylan Cease

Blake Snell, playing for San Diego Padres has been linked with a move to the Yankees.
Denis Poroy

Digging deeper into the statistics provides a fascinating lens through which to analyze the Yankees’ preferences. Spanning the last three seasons (2021-2023), Dylan Cease emerges with a higher Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 11.9, eclipsing Snell’s 9.4. The numerical supremacy extends to various aspects, with Cease leading in games played (97 to 83), innings pitched (526.2 to 436.2), and a superior win-loss record (34-24 to 29-25).

However, the story takes a turn when examining Snell’s performance metrics. Snell boasts a better Earned Run Average (ERA) at 3.15 compared to Dylan Cease’s 3.54, accompanied by a higher ERA+ at 125 against 121. While Cease has accumulated more strikeouts (667 to 575), Snell showcases a superior strikeout percentage (31.5 to 29.8). The intricacies of these statistical comparisons underscore the Yankees’ deliberations as they navigate the complexities of their pitching options.

Nightengale’s reporting sheds light on the Yankees’ steadfast stance against short-term deals or contracts with opt-outs for Snell, rooted in concerns over potential luxury tax implications. The financial landscape adds another layer of complexity to the decision-making process, with Dylan Cease carrying the weight of an expensive contract due to the two remaining years on his current deal.

As the Yankees grapple with the dilemma of parting with a prized prospect or navigating potential luxury tax pitfalls, the narrative remains in flux. The Yankees’ pursuit of a starting pitcher is a multifaceted saga, where statistical analyses, trade negotiations, and financial considerations converge. The outcome of this strategic chess match will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of the Yankees’ 2024 season, adding an element of suspense to the unfolding offseason drama.

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3 thoughts on “Yankees favor Dylan Cease over Blake Snell; stats indicate a potential bargain

  1. It’s not just Spencer Jones they want. They want 3 or 4 other Top prospects for Cease. Do the Yankees need to take on a bad contract too? I’ve seen the CWS new FO is asking for Jones, Hampton, Arias, plus. Cole was traded with 2 years to go before free agency, what the Pirates got for him were a kid 3B, a failing relief pitcher, a couple of B- prospects. Sorry, but Cole at that point was a much better pitcher than Cease is now.

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