Easily the hottest trade candidate on the market right now, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease has become the subject of New York Mets rumors and online mock trades proposed by fans. The extra year of control makes him the kind of pitcher the Mets could actually acquire although we should have our doubts about them spending any big time prospects on a guy right now.
Like so many of the young pitchers the White Sox have had in recent years, Cease has both dazzled and gotten knocked around. He was the Cy Young runner-up in 2022. He hasn’t received any consideration anytime else.
Bleacher Report pieced together some mock trades involving Cease and were sure to include the Mets. It’s a realistic trade package that you’ll have a strong opinion on either way. The addition of Sean Manaea has most likely negated any chance of this happening, but let's examine for you-know-whats and giggles.
Why this trade works for the Mets
The Mets giving up Luisangel Acuna, their top-rated prospect for Cease, might feel like too much already. However, with no clear path toward an everyday position, they can afford to turn him into a trade chip. His inclusion in the trade makes it one where fans are likely to immediately dismiss or curiously carry on.
Kevin Parada is easy to include in any trade for the same reason: he’s blocked at the major league level. It helps that he didn’t play particularly well last year either. It’s hard to find too many fan-created trades without him in it.
Christian Scott is a prospect who came from virtually out of nowhere last year to win the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. While certainly talented, giving the White Sox one of your good minor league pitchers is probably necessary to get this deal done. Why Scott? He’s a little further away from major league ready than Mike Vasil. One big year on the farm shouldn’t make him untouchable.
Finally, there’s Raimon Gomez, the 25th ranked prospect. The 22-year-old is more of a “throw in” for this trade. Nobody is going to dash past airport security to make sure the Mets hold onto him.
One way to view the trade is the Mets are giving up four players they don’t necessarily have a clear path for. If Cease is someone you want, it’s a trigger you can pull.
Why this trade doesn’t work for the Mets
Those who don’t think this trade works probably aren’t big fans of Cease in the first place. In each of the last four seasons he has led the league either in walks or wild pitches. He has struck out 200+ hitters in each of the last three seasons, his only full campaigns. Something about a 3.83 ERA after 123 starts doesn’t suggest he’s worth a haul of young players.
Giving up Acuna and Scott, in particular, for Cease might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It rings especially true when we see everything else the Mets have done this offseason. They aren’t set up for the greatest success. Why give up some assets now when you can do so at the trade deadline for what you really need or wait another year when your team should be better?
Someone else, probably the Baltimore Orioles or even the New York Yankees, will probably land Cease in a trade. Those prospects we’ve come to really like won’t be heading to Chicago or anywhere else just yet. The Mets chose to find solutions to their rotation holes in other ways than packaging a big deal like this one for an in-demand starting pitcher on the trade market.