The Chicago White Sox endured a forgettable 2023 season as they lost 101 games and finished in fourth place in the American League Central, falling short of the postseason for the second straight year.
As a result, the team's ace, right-hander Dylan Cease could be on the move. The White Sox may not be actively shopping him, but they are listening to offers for him.
One team, in particular, could surprise everybody and swing a deal for him: the Baltimore Orioles. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Chicago is ready to initiate a rebuild, which stands to reason why Tim Anderson was not retained and Cease is now reportedly available in trade talks.
MLB Rumors: Orioles could be terrifying Dylan Cease trade suitor
The Orioles were swept by the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers in the ALDS, despite being the top seed in the American League. Their lack of top-level starting pitching proved to be a weakness that was ultimately exploited when they lost to Texas.
But Cease potentially going to Baltimore would give them a great chance to repeat as division champions in the AL East, and it would also be bad news for everybody else in the division, especially the Tampa Bay Rays, who will be without Shane McClanahan for the entire season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
After finishing second in the Cy Young voting in 2022 behind Justin Verlander, Cease had a less than stellar 2023 season, going 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 33 starts. However, he continues to prove himself as a solid strikeout pitcher, having averaged 10.9 per nine innings and recorded 214 punchouts during the regular season.
The White Sox appear to be prepared to begin a fire sale, and trading Cease could be one of many moves they make this offseason as they try to rebuild for the future.