Atlanta Braves fans have been waiting for the announcement of a major starting pitching addition. However, that announcement continues to feel farther away as they missed out on the Aaron Nola sweepstakes and Sonny Gray, who many thought Atlanta was the favorite to land.
While Blake Snell and other arms are available on the open market, it appears the Braves have entered trade talks for one of baseball's most talented starters.
Bob Nightengale from USA Today reported this morning that the Braves have joined multiple teams, including the Dodgers, for the services of Dylan Cease.
He added that multiple teams are also engaged in talks with the White Sox but didn't disclose any other names besides Los Angeles.
Sonny Gray left the market earlier today with a 3-year, $75 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was seen as the perfect candidate to join the Braves but that didn't happen. Age likely had a bit to do with Gray not landing in Atlanta for that price tag. Cease is younger and provides more upside for the Braves in the long run.
Cease turns 28 in December and is under team control through the end of the 2025 season. He completed 33 starts for the White Sox in 2023 with a 4.58 ERA and a 3.72 FIP in 177 innings pitched. He would provide Atlanta with a quality arm that will provide them with plenty of innings as he's thrown 165 innings or more over the last 3 seasons.
His career ERA sits at 3.83 with 792 strikeouts and his FIP sits at 3.72 as well. His career K/9 rate is impressive at 7.7 but if there's any knock on him, it's the 4.0 BB/9 rate. That would be something the Braves want to improve if they acquire the talented right-hander.
AA could consider doing something similar to what he did when landing Matt Olson and Sean Murphy, offering them contract extensions immediately after acquiring them. This would give Atlanta a great starting option to couple with Spencer Strider going forward. This could also help protect them in the event Max Fried doesn't return.
As far as what it will take to land Cease, it's going to require some talent. A top pitching prospect like AJ Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, or Owen Murphy will likely be involved as well as someone like Vaughn Grissom who could help fill Chicago's need for a shortstop. Atlanta may have to get creative with such thing prospect capital at the moment.
Dylan Cease would 100% be worth a trade, however. With the Winter Meetings quickly approaching, I would expect these conversations to pick up steam sooner rather than later.
Cease is worth acquiring, just like BetMGM's instant $200 bonus available to new users today! If you sign up and bet $10 or more on ANY game right now, you'll immediately receive $200 in bonus bets to use freely. It's the easiest $200 you'll make all week - sign up for BetMGM now!