Ranking the top pitching trade targets if the SF Giants miss out on Shohei Ohtani
4) Dylan Cease
Dylan Cease is one of the more interesting players on the off-season trade block. The young ace felt like an untouchable asset in 2022. Cease pitched to the tune of a dazzling 2.20 ERA, 227 strikeouts, and a 14-8 record over 184 innings pitched. This earned him second place in the AL Cy Young vote, losing to a historic season by future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander.
While his MLB-leading 78 walks were a sign of potential concern, the then 26-year-old was considered to be a pillar of the White Sox's franchise. However, a sub-par 2023 campaign has brought Cease's momentum back down to earth.
Last year, the Chicago star's ERA ballooned to 4.58. He also finished with a Win/Loss record below .500 (7-9). His strikeout numbers were still high, 214 in 177 innings. And his walk numbers, 79 for the season, were still high, ranking 6th in baseball.
Cease is not the slam dunk ace he appeared to be. But he is a bounce-back candidate with a sky-high ceiling. A move to a pitcher-friendly Oracle Park and a spot behind incumbent ace Logan Webb could both be helpful factors as the Chicago star seeks to regain his former dominance.
He would be a game-changing addition as the SF Giants seek to build their identity around elite top-of-the-rotation pitching in 2024 and beyond. Cease would be an excellent consolation prize if Ohtani signs elsewhere.