Red Sox No. 2 starter: Dylan Cease, RHP
Yamamoto is one of two big free agent signings that Craig Breslow would need to make in order for this dream Red Sox rotation to become a reality, but there are also more ways to add some newcomers. And with some of the names on the trade market this offseason, Boston could make a huge stride in upgrading their rotation if they were able to land one of these guys.
Whether we're talking about Corbin Burnes, Tyler Glasnow, Shane Bieber, or Dylan Cease, these are all Cy Young-caliber starters who are reportedly available on the trade block, albeit to varying degrees. Of that group, though, one could argue that Cease is the most available as new Chicago White Sox GM Chris Getz has not been shy about wanting to open up a fire sale on the Southside this offseason.
After finishing second in AL Cy Yong voting for the 2022 season with a 2.20 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, the encore effort for Cease was a bit lackluster in comparison. Starting 33 games, the White Sox righty's ERA ballooned to 4.58 with a 1.41 WHIP. However, even then, his 3.72 FIP for the season showed that he pitched better than the ultimate results that came about.
Only under club control until the end of the 2025 season, Cease figures to be a coveted commodity on the trade market who won't come cheap because of that. Luckily for Breslow and the Red Sox, the organization's farm system is extremely strong right now and has the weight to potentially make this type of trade happen.
If Breslow were able to secure a 27/28-year-old starter of Cease's caliber and extend him, that would be a huge victory for the future of Boston's rotation, and in 2024 as well, obviously.