MLB Rumors: Yankees already have a blockbuster Yoshinobu Yamamoto backup plan

Yankees fans want Yamamoto, but what happens if New York misses out?

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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The MLB offseason frenzy had to wait for Shohei Ohtani to make his decision to heat up. Now the baseball world is waiting for the Yoshinobu Yamamoto domino to fall to really catch fire.

Like Ohtani's before him, Yamamoto's decision is holding up other moves as hopefuls circle around the NPB star. Only one of them can sign him though, and everyone knows the losers in that race will have to pivot to other options eventually.

The New York Yankees are one team keeping all their options in front of them, even though they have been favored by some to land Yamamoto when all is said and done. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, New York is keeping an eye on the White Sox and Dylan Cease.

Yankees monitoring trade market around Dylan Cease in case of Yoshinobu Yamamoto misfire

The White Sox are still talking to clubs about trading Cease, Rosenthal reported, but they want to wait to agree to a swap until the teams pursuing Yamamoto have to look back around for a Plan B. The Yankees, Giants, Braves and Rangers were among the teams named as possibilities should they miss out on the bigger fish that is Yamamoto.

Cease is still under Chicago's control for the next two seasons, but a trade seems likely.

The righty is coming off a rough 2023 campaign. He went 7-9 with an ERA of 4.58, his worst since his rookie season in 2019.

Despite the dip in terms of performance, the soon-to-be 28-year-old is still sure to generate interest from the top of the starting pitcher trade market considering his performance in 2021 and 2022. He won 13 and 14 games in those seasons respectively with ERAs of 3.91 and 2.20.

The Yankees obviously want to be successful in their pursuit of Yamamoto, but losing out on him will mean a frustrated fanbase that wants to see them add star power to the rotation. Cease could solve that problem as a solid second option.

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