As the MLB offseason comes to a close, the White Sox have been increasingly blunt about their plans for key trade piece Dylan Cease.
In November, insider reports suggested there was a 90-percent chance the starter would be traded by Opening Day. Now, with pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training on Wednesday, White Sox general manager Chris Getz made it clear he has no problem holding onto Cease for the foreseeable future.
"At this point, Dylan Cease, I expect him to be our Opening Day starter," Getz told reporters in a Zoom session Monday. "He's had an awesome offseason. I've been in contact with him regularly, and I know his name has been out there publicly with potential trades and, unsurprisingly, it hasn't affected him. He's so professional [and] just focused on the task at hand. So I look forward to seeing him in a couple of days, and I certainly feel like he's well-positioned to have an excellent year."
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Since January, the word around MLB has been that the White Sox are asking for "the sun and the moon" in exchange for the right-handed ace, with ESPN reporting that Cease would likely remain on the South Side until the trade deadline.
“There is no pressure on them to lower their asking price,” one executive told ESPN's Buster Olney. “They’ll get what they want at the (trade) deadline.”
Getz, himself, has been clear that he won't budge on the price tag.
"When you've got someone of a Dylan Cease [caliber] and how he prepares and the lifestyle that he lives, the even temperament at which he operates and obviously the talent and the stuff, they are a rarity," Getz said Sunday on MLB Network Radio. "... I think very highly of Dylan Cease. I am very comfortable going into spring training, into the season with Dylan.”
White Sox Spring Training
Despite a less-than-stellar-outing in 2023, Cease proved his worth in 2022, generating a near-perfect season-long performance. He threw for nearly 200 innings, holding a 2.20 ERA over his starts. He also struck out 227 batters that season.
"I've got to have the health of the organization in mind, and if I feel like [a trade] is something that we should do to make us better in the short term and long term, I think you have to take strong consideration there," Getz said. "... Teams are still calling. They are still trying to work on a deal that works for both sides.
"If there's a match somewhere, we'll do it."