It’s Yankees vs. Mets for Dylan Cease

The New York Yankees are reportedly readying to acquire Dylan Cease from Chicago.

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The New York Yankees are again ready to battle for pitching arms. Following the impactful acquisition of Juan Soto, reports suggest that the Yankees are now eyeing another significant move – targeting Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease. But they have to battle the Mets.

Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic broke the news that the Yankees are actively exploring trade options beyond the top free-agent pitchers like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. Specifically, they are engaged in discussions regarding Dylan Cease, one of the most sought-after starters on the market.

Yankees are reportedly frontrunners for Dylan Cease

Whispers in the baseball community hint that the White Sox are open to offers, with the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles taking the lead, according to sources familiar with the talks. Although other teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Red Sox might be in contention, the complete landscape of potential suitors remains unclear.

For the Yankees, Cease could be the missing piece – a 28-year-old pitcher capable of immediately bolstering their rotation. Locked in for the next two seasons, his addition would elevate New York’s starting staff to the ranks of baseball’s elite on paper.

However, acquiring Cease will come at a cost. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Orioles are reportedly vying for his services, posing formidable competition for the Yankees. Despite some setbacks in their farm system this offseason, the Yankees still possess the assets required to execute a major deal.

The pursuit of Cease is the latest chapter in the Yankees’ aggressive offseason. With a clear focus on achieving glory in 2024, acquiring an ace like Cease would send a powerful message throughout the league – the Bronx Bombers are poised to swing for the fences once again.

Mets emerge a challenge to Yankees

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While the Yankees‘ high-profile pursuit of Dylan Cease takes center stage, another New York team, the Mets, has discreetly joined the fray. According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, the Mets are actively exploring the possibility of acquiring the White Sox ace, viewing him as one of several potential upgrades for their rotation.

Although not considered front-runners, the Mets are open to evaluating Chicago’s reported asking price of “three premium prospects,” enticed by Cease’s long-term potential. Unlike a short-term rental, the 28-year-old right-hander is under contract through 2025, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting an arbitration salary of $8.8 million for this year.

Sherman notes that acquiring Cease could align with the Mets’ dual objectives – remaining competitive in 2024 and intensifying their efforts in 2025 when a clearer organizational picture emerges under David Stearns.

Simultaneously, The Athletic reports that the Yankees are genuinely committed to their pursuit but, like the Mets, are not perceived as the most probable destination. Both sources identify the Baltimore Orioles, boasting an impressive farm system, as the front-runners in the competition for Cease.

While the specifics of engagement levels and desired prospect packages remain undisclosed, other teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston Red Sox, are reportedly in contention.

Cease, recognized for his hard-throwing style and devastating slider, carries notable credentials despite a 4.58 ERA/3.72 FIP in the previous season. He struck out 27.3% of batters faced, ranking ninth among MLB starters. Crucially, he has displayed durability, pitching at least 165 innings in each of the past three seasons. In 2022, he finished second in AL Cy Young voting with an impressive 2.20 ERA.

Mets President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has already bolstered the rotation with additions like Luis Severino and Adrian Houser, alongside Kodai Senga, José Quintana, and Tylor Megill. However, facing formidable competitors in the NL East, further reinforcements are essential for the Mets to stay competitive.

With the spotlight on the Windy City, the battle for Dylan Cease evolves into a compelling New York vs. Baltimore showdown, with other contenders lurking. One certainty prevails – the team securing this coveted arm will gain a substantial advantage in the quest for baseball supremacy in 2024.

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