Dylan Cease Cardinals Sep 29, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) delivers a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers may, or may not, be close to a deal for starting pitcher Dylan Cease.

MLB insider Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday he heard the defending World Series champions “might be close to acquiring” the right-hander from the Chicago White Sox.

Rosenthal then clarified the tip was not true, “at least at that moment,” but as any fan knows, every completed trade usually begins with a rumor, one that often initially gets refuted.

However, Rosenthal did confirm the two sides have had discussions about the 28-year-old Cease. And Rosenthal’s story included a quote that makes one believe a deal like this is imminent. He said one Rangers insider told him, “Have you seen our rotation in the first half?”

That Rangers exec has a point. Texas has a formidable rotation, at least when everyone is healthy. Unfortunately, former Cy Young winners Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer and recently signed Tyler Mahle are all sidelined until midsesaon. That leaves Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray and several question marks anchoring the rotation until then.

Cease had a down year in 2023, with a 4.58 ERA and 1.418 WHIP. But he finished second in the Cy Young voting in 2022 and is a workhorse, tying for the league lead last year with 33 starts. So he’d be a welcome addition, both now and after deGrom and Scherzer return.

According to Rosenthal, the White Sox are looking for a trade from the Rangers involving utility man Ezequiel Durán and pitching prospects Brock Porter and Jack Leiter, or an equivalent package.

The San Diego Padres and New York Yankees are also said to be interested in Cease, according to Rosenthal. Whether Cease ends up in Texas or elsewhere, his days with the White Sox seem numbered, as Chisox manager Pedro Grifol alluded Tuesday when asked if Cease will be his Opening Day starter.

“I don’t know. I mean, how am I supposed to know?” Grifol said (via MLB.com). “I don’t know what’s going to happen out there. I don’t know where other teams are, what their urgency is.”

For now, Cease is still in a White Sox uniform, the Rangers are still just a pitching-hungry team reportedly trying to work a deal, and the MLB world is trying to figure out what will happen.

[Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.