Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease was one of the more desirable chips rumored to get moved at this summer’s trade deadline. We’re not in the offseason hot stove where his name continues to get brought up. Bleacher Report was sure to include the New York Mets in their list of trade destinations for Cease. They were even so kind as to propose what a deal for Cease could look like.
Cease turns 28 in December and has two more years of control before hitting free agency. He was the Cy Young runner-up in 2022 during a season where he completely raised the bar for himself pitching to a 2.20 ERA in 32 starts. Since debuting in 2019, he has only one other season of a sub-4.00 ERA. It was the 3.91 posted in 2021.
Cease has age on his side and while he is coming off of a 7-9, 4.58 ERA effort for the White Sox, he’s someone pitcher-needy clubs like the Mets will want to consider. The big question is whether or not they’d be willing to give into this trade proposal made by Bleacher Report.
This is what the mock trade says the Mets will give up for Dylan Cease
Two players for two years for a guy who finished second in the Cy Young in 2022. The Ronny Mauricio part of the trade doesn’t seem too bad even if the team wants to have him in a battle alongside Brett Baty and maybe a few others for innings at third base. The Drew Gilbert inclusion is where we put on the brakes.
Gilbert got so red hot once he joined the Mets organization this summer that it’s tough to just give him away. There is an attachment already. The Mets haven’t had an outfield prospect like him for quite some time. It would seem drastic to trade him, but that’s the cost of acquiring a young pitcher like Cease.
The big beef with this trade is how impermanent Cease’s presence on the Mets is without an extension. The Mets seem far more focused on winning in 2025 than 2024 at which point Cease will be a year away from free agency. It’s not so bad except the Mets are giving up the kinds of assets you would for two years of a player’s services, not just one. The White Sox aren’t going to offer any sort of discount just because the Mets aren’t ready to fully invest in winning.
Why not wait on pulling the trigger for a different player in the same position next year? Cease hasn’t done enough to warrant an extension. His career 3.83 ERA is lower than what he has done in four of his five seasons. His marvelous 2022 campaign really is an outlier on the resume. It’s the “former CEO” from a few years ago surrounded by internships and part-time gig work we know he did for an uncle.
Something about trading Justin Verlander and cash to the Houston Astros and then turning around a half-season later and trading the better prospect in that deal for Cease seems wrong. This is a completely realistic portrayal of what the Mets may need to sacrifice in a trade for any under-30 starting pitcher with upside. The gut says this isn’t a move to make.