The Atlanta Braves stunned the baseball world last night when they swung a trade with the Mariners for three players including Jarred Kelenic. Seattle got some wanted salary relief and the Braves got a high upside left field option in Kelenic and a (hopefully) middling rotation option in Marco Gonzales assuming he is healthy next year.
However, despite the addition of Gonzales, the Braves still really need to add a reliable starter this offseason. Sure, the Braves are selling Reynaldo Lopez's impending transition back to the rotation as a solution and Gonzales is a nice depth option, but the top of the rotation still remains a short and long term problem. Atlanta seems to agree with that as, despite making a move just last night, the current chatter is that they are still in play to trade for Dylan Cease.
The Braves are still in on Cease, but a lot of teams are in on him
Reports from Morosi this time of year should be taken with a grain of salt as he does have a bit of a reputation of spinning "interesting ideas" into rumors, but this one at least does seem logical. Atlanta's interest in Cease has been well-documented this offseason and given their need for a quality starter while having a reluctance to hand out high dollar lengthy free agent contracts, Cease should be on their radar.
However, the White Sox know what they have in Cease and it seems like they are wanting to fully develop his trade market before making a decision. The Orioles, Dodgers, and Reds all make sense as other teams that should be looking to add starting pitching and it wouldn't be all that shocking to see the Red Sox or Cardinals enter the fray along with any of the big market teams that lose out on the big names on the market.
The end result of all of this is that it does feel a bit unlikely that any Cease trade gets done at the Winter Meetings given the number of teams involved and the fact that guys like Ohtani, Yamamoto, Snell, and Montgomery haven't signed yet. That said, there is a Chicago gets an offer they can't refuse. What will be interesting is whether or not such an offer would come from the Braves and whether or not they use any of the pieces they just acquired to help get such a deal done.