MLB Network's Jon Morosi has had an offseason to forget. He reported that Shohei Ohtani was on an airplane bound for Toronto, and that Ohtani was signing with the Blue Jays. The internet went wild, and it turned out that Ohtani was not on that flight, Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank was on the plane. Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers that very next day, And Morosi's name was drug all across Twitter.
So, what does that story have to do with Dylan Cease and the Seattle Mariners? Well, Mr. Morosi went on MLB Network's "Hot Stove" to talk about a possible Dylan Cease trade, among other things. He said "The Baltimore Orioles are a top suitor for Dylan Cease. One team though I'm watching carefully... the Mariners." I know your scratching my head like I did when i read that same quote.
Why would the Mariners trade for an ace level pitcher, when they need offense so desperately? Morosi said "One thing they (the Mariners) have not been able to do yet is land a major free agent bat in addition to Mitch Garver. So perhaps their strategy could be get starting pitching in, which allows you to move a Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo for an impact bat via the trade market." I really do like this scenario, depending of the cost to acquire Cease.
Dylan Cease finished second in CY-Young voting in 2022. He went 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA in 32 starts for the White Sox that season. However, he regressed in a big way in 2023. He went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 33 starts. He led the league in walks in 2022 with 78, and walked 79 in 2023. Was 2022 the best year he will ever have? Or was the 2023 Chicago White Sox so toxic, that even their best players were bad? Tim Anderson and Lance Lynn would say the latter are true.
I think both could be true. Sure, he may never have a 2.20 ERA again. But wouldn't a 3.20 ERA sound pretty nice? Cease is under club control for 2 more seasons, and you could slot him in right behind George Kirby or Logan Gilbert. Having a rotation of Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan GIlbert, Dylan Cease and Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo gets me excited.
Who would the Mariners have to give up for Cease? I checked out "Baseball Trade Values" and the closest i could come up with is: Cease for Cole Young, Tyler Locklear and Jose Caballero. I would think Chicago would want either one of Miller, Woo or Emerson Hancock. Maybe the Mariners add more and get one of Eloy Jiminez or Andrew Vaughn.
Morosi also mentioned the plethora of Tampa Bay Rays bats that could be available. Randy Arozarena, Isaac Parades, Yandy Diaz, Harold Ramirez among others could all be available. Could the Mariners acquire Cease, then deal Miller or Woo to the Rays for one or two of the bats I mentioned above? I could see that. Jerry Dipoto has done a deal like that in the past, when he acquired Mallex Smith from the Braves, only to trade him to the Rays later that same day.
Do i think the Mariners trade for Dylan Cease? No, because I believe the cost of Cease alone is too high for Jerry and Justin to pull the trigger. However, I love the idea of a rotation with Cease as the 4th best option, so I would not complain one bit if the Mariners pull off a heist like this. As always, go Mariners!