Yankees draw line in Cease trade, stand pat on keeping talent Sox covet

The Yankees are interested in a trade with the White Sox for pitcher Dylan Cease but refuse to part with Spencer Jones in January 2024.

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The New York Yankees remain interested in acquiring Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. However, they’re unwilling to part with a specific top prospect to make the deal happen. This comes after the Yankees rejected the Milwaukee Brewers’ request for their prized outfielder Spencer Jones, who eventually landed in Baltimore via the Corbin Burnes trade.

Yankees seen as a key contender to land Cease

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Cease, 27, is one of the most dominant strikeout pitchers in baseball, boasting 214 strikeouts in 177 innings in 2023. He’d solidify a rotation featuring Gerrit Cole, Marcus Stroman, and Carlos Rodon, addressing concerns about the durability and depth of the latter two.

Despite his strikeout prowess, Cease mirrored the White Sox’s struggles in 2023, finishing with a 7-9 record and a 4.58 ERA. While his 2022 Cy Young runner-up season showcases his potential, his career ERA remains at 4.58.

The sudden pivot of the Yankees toward free-agent pitcher Marcus Stroman could be attributed to their hesitancy to meet the Chicago White Sox’s substantial asking price for Cease.

White Sox GM Chris Getz is reportedly demanding “multiple high-end prospects” for Cease, a steep cost that dissuaded the Atlanta Braves, even with their willingness to include young phenom Vaughn Grissom in the deal. Instead, the Braves opted for an alternative acquisition strategy, prioritizing cost-effectiveness over parting with top prospects.

While the Yankees find Cease appealing, the potential prospect cost appears to be a major hurdle. Having already depleted their farm system for Juan Soto and facing additional losses in the Rule 5 draft, trading another top prospect like Spencer Jones seems unlikely. Jones, ranked as the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America, brings exciting potential with his powerful bat and athleticism.

Getz’s firm stance on the asking price is supported by Cease’s two years remaining on his contract and an attractive salary for 2024 (estimated at $8 million). Despite a 4.58 ERA in 2023, Cease possesses undeniable talent, evident in his impressive strikeout rate (29.8% over the past three seasons) and a 2022 Cy Young runner-up campaign.

Yankees see their future in Spencer Jones

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Ranked the 84th prospect in baseball, Jones possesses a rare combination of power and athleticism for his size. He exhibits impressive raw power and exit velocity, but questions linger about his ability to translate that power consistently in games.

Jones’ 2023 season saw him strike out 155 times with a 29% whiff rate, raising concerns about his plate discipline. Despite his size, Jones offers average speed and agility, potentially contributing offensively and defensively.

Yankees hitting coordinator Joe Migliaccio, in a recent conversation with NJ Advance Media, stressed the continual need for athletes striving for significant success to make adjustments that enhance their performance. He underscored the importance of gaining game experience to understand how opposing pitchers approach them differently.

Migliaccio commended Jones for his tremendous offseason efforts, noting his hard work and the momentum he’s built on from his formative first full season with the organization. While Jones made strides as a prospect, Migliaccio emphasized that the outfielder remained unsatisfied with his performance.

At just 22, Jones wasn’t merely a throw-in during trade talks for Juan Soto; he was reportedly the centerpiece, coveted by teams like the Padres, Brewers, and White Sox for potential deals involving stars like Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, and others. Despite acquiring Soto and bolstering their pitching, the Yankees dug their heels in, refusing to part ways with the promising prospect.

The comparison to Judge isn’t unfounded. Jones, a towering 6-foot-6, 235-pound center fielder, echoes Judge’s impressive physicality. His 2023 season, with 16 homers and 43 stolen bases across different levels, fueled excitement among scouts who envision him as a potential “30-30” threat.

One scout, while noting Jones may not reach Judge’s raw power, praises his “good power” and “strong throwing arm.” His elite speed, graded a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, makes him a valuable asset in center field.

Another evaluator acknowledges Jones’s “high ceiling” and potential impact, stating he’s “a rising star in the making who cannot be overlooked.”

While Cease’s talent is undeniable, the Yankees are hesitant to overpay for a pitcher with recent performance concerns. Jones, on the other hand, represents exciting potential but comes with his own question marks. Ultimately, the Yankees will need to weigh the cost-benefit analysis of each acquisition to strengthen their squad for the upcoming season.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Yankees draw line in Cease trade, stand pat on keeping talent Sox covet

  1. if you take away Cease’s ERA in 2022, his K/BB rate has been the same, his GS/ND ratio is the same. His HRs were down a tick, and his HBP was nothing to write home about. Cease is not really worth a 5 for 1, let alone 2 or 3 Top tier prospects in that mix. The Padres got Thorpe, but sorry, right now Hampton is not available. Everyone knows that Dominguez is not available, so they’re asking for Spencer Jones. Sorry, but right now, Jones is not available either.

  2. Jones is the future to centerfielder and Dominguez is the future left fielder. But we still need other pitcher and a third baseman not named DJ we need Matt Chapman then that other starter then we talking world series.without that No world series.

  3. The 5 world series championships we won our pitching staff was the best and that’s putting it nice The staff we have now in place isn’t going to get it done without more help. what we have now isn’t good enough it’s a long season. We need our starter to eat up around 900 innings or more. To make our bullpen dangerous on the back end. we put them in bad spot last season.

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