Braves No. 2 starter: Dylan Cease, RHP
In each of the past two offseasons, we've seen Alex Anthopoulos execute relatively genius trades to give the Braves one of the most formidable top-to-bottom lineups in baseball. In 2021-22, it was trading for A's first baseman Matt Olson. In 2022-23, Anthopoulos called up Oakland once again, this time to nab catcher Sean Murphy. Both were All-Stars in 2023.
So maybe his 2023-24 big move is to now help address the team's biggest need in the rotation. And it seems like Chicago White Sox hurler Dylan Cease could be the perfect target for the Braves to pursue in that capacity.
Coming out of the GM Meetings, the belief seems to be that Cease can be had, as can anyone on the White Sox roster, this offseason. The right-hander is quite intriguing, though, with two years of club control remaining before he hits free agency while already have a runner-up Cy Young finish to his credit back in 2022.
Cease took a step back this season as part of the collapse on the Southside, posting a 4.58 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. However, no one believes anything other than the soon-to-be 28-year-old remains an elite arm that would be coveted on the trade market.
In light of a continued White Sox fire sale looking like reality, I argued the Braves are a perfect trade partner for Chicago when it comes to Cease, having the ability to offer young, controllable pitching and a Tim Anderson replacement in Vaughn Grissom to help jumpstart a rebuild. It would be absolutely massive to land him to form a 1-2-3 punch with Fried and our No. 1 in this dream rotation.