MLB Insider: The truth behind the Dylan Cease, New York Yankees rumors

Chicago White Sox Workout
Chicago White Sox Workout / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

If the New York Yankees look at the starting pitcher market, it’s highly unlikely that Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell will emerge as legitimate options.

Just look at the Yankees’ current payroll situation. With the team over the $297 payroll mark, any salary they add to the roster would come with a 110% tax. The Yankees have hesitated to add a big salary to the roster since signing Marcus Stroman and acquiring Juan Soto and have signaled that those would most likely be their biggest salaries added this offseason.

But the move that would make the most sense from a financial standpoint for the Yankees would be a trade for Dylan Cease. And according to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees have made a new offer for the star right-hander while they await word on the status of Gerrit Cole’s right elbow.

The truth behind the Dylan Cease-Yankees trade rumors

Cease is earning only $8 million this season and is signed for the next two seasons. Unlike Snell or Montgomery, he has pitched this spring in major-league camp and will unquestionably be ready for Opening Day. So he would be able to provide immediate relief for a Yankees team that needed pitching upgrades even before Cole’s injury.

The White Sox, however, are not in a hurry to move Cease and have signaled to teams all offseason that they are willing to wait until the trade deadline to complete a trade. They want to maximize the return for the right-hander, who is coming off a down season with a 4.58 ERA in 177 innings. But there is an obvious risk in doing that and if he got hurt between now and July, that would decimate his trade market and lessen any potential return.

It’s unclear just how steep the asking price is, but Nightengale reported the Yankees have yet to include star prospect Spencer Jones in any proposal. The Yankees, of course, have other high-end prospects such as Jasson Domingues, Everson Pereira, Austin Wells, Will Warren and Chase Hampton, among others, so there should be other pathways toward completing a deal.

But after parting with right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez and Drew Thorpe to acquire Juan Soto and Trent Grisham, perhaps the Yankees could be hesitant to further deplete their farm system. 

It’s unclear how the Yankees feel about that possibility internally. But from a financial standpoint, a Cease trade makes the most sense – though with the White Sox holding out for the best deal, a trade may have to wait until the deadline.

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