MLB expert calls Dylan Cease a ‘dream acquisition’ for the Houston Astros originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
All signs point to the White Sox becoming sellers at the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline.
It’s likely that if they choose to sell, it won’t be a full-blown yard sale. The front office would likely hang on to young stars like Luis Robert Jr. and Dylan Cease.
But teams won’t go down without a fight, according to the NY Post’s Jon Heyman. He reports the 26-year-old Cease has a very interested suitor at the deadline.
“They (Houston Astros) would love to get Dylan Cease from the White Sox.,” Heyman said on MLB Network. “Now, a lot of teams would love to get Dylan Cease. He’s one of the four guys — I wouldn’t say untouchable — but close to untouchable. So they’d have to pay a big price to add Dylan Cease.”
Previously, Heyman reported the Sox are “open for business” as the trade deadline nears. He also named Cease, Robert Jr., Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jiménez “untouchables,” or “close to untouchable,” as he mentioned on the broadcast.
Obviously, trading Cease would require a major haul in return for the White Sox to shake hands on dishing away one of their young stars. Cease has been with the White Sox since they traded José Quintana to the Cubs in exchange for the young pitching prospect in 2017.
Last season, Cease earned the second-most votes for the AL Cy Young award behind Justin Verlander. He held a 2.20 ERA and recorded a whopping 227 strikeouts last year. His slider finished as the most damaging pitch in MLB, recording a -36 run value.
This season, Cease has struggled on the mound, but it’s not deterring teams from wanting him on their team. He holds a 4.18 ERA through 20 starts and he has yet to fix his command issues, walking 45 batters on the season. Last year, he led the league in walks, sending 78 batters to first base.
But the Astros desperately need starting pitchers. With Luis Garcia, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy out long-term, the Astros need rentals to help push for a playoff run. Cease is a great candidate, but it would take a hefty package from the Astros to make that deal happen.
In a scenario where the Astros – or any team – don’t produce an intriguing enough offer to capture Cease, this season’s trade deadline market is expected to be fruitful with starting pitchers. Heyman mentioned one of Cease’s teammates and another big-time Chicago name as candidates for the Astros.
But they’re gunning for Cease.
“I do think (Marcus) Stroman is a possibility for the Astros,” Heyman said. “They’re definitely looking at him. Also, the other names that we hear all the time: (Jordan) Montgomery, (Lucas) Giolito and Eduardo Rodriguez of interest, too.
“Cease is their dream acquisition if they can do it.”