It looked like the trade market for Chicago White Sox ace pitcher Dylan Cease was drying up with the high-return general manager Chris Getz was demanding. Then suddenly anew potential trade partner has surfaced.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Seattle Mariners have emerged as wanting to trade for Cease. Bob is well-connected to the White Sox, so this rumor has a chance of becoming a reality. However, it could be a planted story to get teams like the Baltimore Orioles to be interested again.
The move makes sense for the Mariners as landing Cease would add him to a rotation that already has Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, and George Kirby. Seattle has to do everything it can to keep up with the World Series champions Texas Rangers and the always-formidable Houston Astros. Making their rotation even stronger is one way of doing that.
It is going to cost that contender a lot to get Cease. The Sox are reported to have an asking price that is relative to asking for the sun and the moon.
With that in mind, here are what some Mariners trade packages could look like for Cease.
The Chicago White Sox get two big-league pitchers and a developmental outfield prospect
Getz is reported to want four prospects from a team's top-15 list, but he might be willing to take both Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo if the Mariners are willing to part with both.
Seattle would probably prefer to keep one of them as their fifth starter, but they may determine it will be worth giving up both since the Mariners have to get ahead of the Rangers and Astros to win the AL West. Let's not forget if they fall short of winning the division, they have to compete with whoever does not win the AL East for an AL Wild Card spot.
Miller had a solid rookie season with a 4.32 ERA, 3.98 FIP, and was a 1.9 fWAR player. He throws an outstanding fastball and he finished 2023 with 119 strikeouts.
He was tough on right-handed hitters as they combined to have a .200/.234/.315 slash line. Miller is 25 and will not be arbitration-eligible until 2026.
Woo is turning 24 at the end of January. He had a 4.21 ERA in 18 starts. He missed some time with some elbow inflammation. He finished with a 1 fWAR and a 25% K-rate. He had a 1.21 WHIP despite issuing 31 walks in 87-and two-thirds innings.
He also has a good fastball, and his 6.3%-barrel rate was outstanding. His FIP was higher than his ERA, his xERA was 3.48.
Montes finished the season as the Mariners' 12th-best prospect, but he is moving up. The outfielder belted 13 home runs between Rookie and Low A-Ball. He had a .303/.440/.560 slash line between those stops. He had a .565 slugging percentage in 33 games at Low-A.
The problem is Montes is a free-swinger at the plate and needs to work on the lines he takes to get to the ball in the outfield. He is 19 and hits left-handed. He is the perfect developmental prospect to groom to take over right field someday.