The Chicago White Sox are expected to be active in trade talks this week at the MLB Winter Meetings. The White Sox hold one of the most valuable trade assets on the market this off-season in starting pitcher Dylan Cease.
Cease is under team control for two more seasons as the White Sox appear to be at the start of their latest rebuild. The expectation is that Cease will be traded this off-season but the White Sox are in no hurry to make a deal.
The White Sox likely will wait out the free-agent sweepstakes for Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto before deciding on a Cease trade. The team that would be interested in trading for Cease, specifically, the Los Angeles Dodgers, also are involved in the market for Yamamoto. If the Dodgers miss out on Yamamoto, the team may have more incentive to trade for Cease–especially if Los Angeles winds up with Shohei Ohtani as Ohtani will be relegated to hitting only during the 2024 season.
One team to keep an eye on for Cease is the Atlanta Braves. In his preview for the Winter Meetings this week, Bob Nightengale of USA Today listed the Braves as the favorite to trade for Cease. The Braves are not believed to be involved in the market for Yamamoto, leading them to have the ability to pull off a trade for Cease sooner as opposed to waiting for the top of the free agent market to settle. Though, again, the best move for the White Sox would be to hold off on moving Cease until the top of the free-agent starting pitching market is settled.
The White Sox hold all the leverage in a potential trade of Cease with this being an opportunity for first-year general manager Chris Getz to accelerate the reconstruction of the team’s farm system.