Dylan Cease Trade Rumors: White Sox And Yankees Negotiate

While the White Sox still have not traded Dylan Cease, this offseason saga has a new development. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees “would prefer to trade for Cease instead of signing free agent Blake Snell, but they are at a standstill with the White Sox. They refuse to part with top outfield prospect Spencer Jones in any package for Cease while the White Sox are insisting on him.”

Dylan Cease Trade Rumors: White Sox And Yankees Negotiate

The White Sox interest in Jones is not a new development, but the Yankees preference of Cease to Snell is. Preferring Cease to Snell makes sense from the Yankees perspective, as Cease is younger and cost-controlled for the next two seasons, whereas Snell is seeking a massive contract in free agency.

White Sox Insistence On Jones

It is no surprise why the White Sox insist on Jones being part of the return in any Cease trade. The 22-year-old, 6’6″ outfielder is the best prospect in the Yankees organization and provides prestigious power and elite athleticism from the left side. In 117 games combined between the A+ and AA levels, Jones clubbed 16 home runs while stealing 43 bases. He does strike out quite a bit, but he offers elite power and speed, two traits the White Sox currently lack. Jones’ future upside is enormous, and he would easily be the White Sox second-best prospect behind Colson Montgomery. At the same time, however, these reasons are why the Yankees seemingly refuse to trade him.

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Other Top Yankee Prospects

However, the Yankees have the prospect capital to get a deal done for Cease even if Jones is untouchable. 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Chase Hampton and 19-year-old shortstop Roderick Arias would likely be of interest to the White Sox as the headliners.

Hampton has a four-pitch mix consisting of a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup and should be able to stick as a starting pitcher long-term. He put up a 3.63 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 in 20 starts between the A+ and AA levels in 2023, and would immediately become one of the White Sox best pitching prospects should they acquire him.

Arias, on the other hand, is a lot more raw. He was the number one prospect in the 2022 international class and signed with the Yankees for $4 million in 2022. He is only in rookie ball now, but he could shoot up prospects lists soon as his 70-grade arm strength and elite athleticism will allow him to stay shortstop long term.

Hampton and Arias would likely be the top two players in return for Cease should a trade happen, but the White Sox might have interest in some of their other prospects, including 24-year-old right-handed pitcher Will Warren, 22-year-old infielder Jorbit Vivas, and 19-year-old left-handed pitcher Henry Lalane. The Yankees can offer many potential combinations for Cease even if Jones is not on the table. It just depends on how Chris Getz views these prospects.

The Perfect Fit

Earlier in the offseason, I highlighted why Cease is a perfect fit for the Yankees, and that logic still applies. Cease would slot in as their number-two starter behind Gerrit Cole and provide much-needed durability in a Yankees rotation full of injury-prone pitchers. Which team will blink first remains to be seen; it is possible neither of them will. But the Yankees look to be Cease’s most logical landing spot, should he be traded.

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