It can be frustrating waiting for a trade that may never come

One word for the MLB trade market right now would be frustrating. Frustrating for fans and maybe even front office execs alike that, while we have rumors, we have so much less actual movement and action.

The rumors about right-hander Dylan Cease never seem to end yet nothing so far has led to a move.

What might create further frustration here is that neither the Orioles or the Chicago White Sox need to make a move. They can simply keep what they have and go at it in the 2024 season. In the case of the White Sox, they could trade Cease next month, at the trade deadline, next winter or maybe never. And as for the Orioles, they may already have enough pitching.

The White Sox's Chris Getz was promoted to the general manager position on Aug. 31 and is going to want to make sure he makes the right deal if he trades Cease, a pitcher who was second for the AL Cy Young Award in the 2022 season.

Getz addressed the Cease trade talks with Chicago reporters this week.

"It's ever-evolving in terms of the urgency of other clubs," Getz said in a Tuesday video press conference with media. "It could be in the offseason, it could be at the deadline, it could be in May. There are just so many different factors when you're talking about 29 other clubs.

"In the case of Dylan, I don't think there's a club out there that hasn't expressed some level of interest in him. All their situations are different."

Added Getz: “There's a lot that goes into any trade transaction. There's a lot of conversations, build up, research and obviously getting it to the finish line. As part of the offseason, we'll continue to do that and find ways to get our club better."

He told reporters he’s been in contact with Cease often this winter.

We’ve continually spoken to Dylan,” he said. “He’s got a very strong relationship with [pitching coach] Ethan Katz, [manager] Pedro [Grifol], and is building a relationship with [senior pitching advisor] Brian Bannister, one of our new hires. And that’s always been very consistent with Dylan; he’s always preparing for what’s in front of him.

“He’s fairly unique in how he does not get distracted. And that’s what makes him a special pitcher, and a pitcher that could pitch for any club in any city. That’s why his value is so high.”

This week the Sox and Getz agreed that he would pitch for $8 million this season, avoiding an arbitration hearing. And there is a lot of the appeal for this pitcher. The lower price for the quality of talent. He has one more season of team control, so another arbitration year coming for the 2025 season. Even if he doubled his salary for next year to $16 million, a team acquiring Cease would have him for two years for such a relatively low price.

By comparison here are the 2024 salaries of some pitchers who signed free agent deals in the last few months:

$27.1 million – LAD’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto

$25.0 million – St. Louis pitcher Sonny Gray

$24.6 million – Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola

$20.0 million – Arizona’s Eduardo Rodriguez

$19.25 million – Boston’s Lucas Giolito

$18.25 million – NYY’s Marcus Stroman

$13.0 million – St. Louis right-hander and former Oriole Kyle Gibson

Meanwhile, the Orioles went 47-26 (.644) with a 3.58 ERA in the second half last year and that team ERA was first in the AL and third in the major leagues. The O's played at a 104-win pace after the All-Star game.

In addition, in that second-half, the O’s rotation ERA was 3.74. That second-half rotation ERA was third-best in the AL and fifth-best in MLB.

Again, they may not need another starter. Insurance and the added depth would be nice but if they can’t get a difference-maker should they not just stand pat and go after another 100 wins?

If Getz and the White Sox feel certain they will get a better offer for Cease in two days, two weeks or two months, why make a deal now then?

We’re at a bit of a standstill here but one phone call could change everything. But will that call come?




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