March 1, 2024


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The Yankees are interested in stopping Dylan

The Yankees are interested in stopping Dylan

The Yankees were linked to the free agent yesterday Blake Snell But they seem to be exploring the commercial market as well. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic Reports indicate the Yankees and Orioles have “sincere” interest in him Dylan stopped. The O's have previously been linked to Cease and Rosh Kubatko of reported earlier this week that they are “still involved” with the White Sox. Rosenthal adds that the Dodgers, Cardinals and Red Sox, who were previously reported to be interested in Cease, may still be in the mix, and other clubs may be involved as well. The Braves and the Reds, who previously had interest in Cease, appear to have moved on to other targets with Atlanta trading for Chris Sale And the Reds signed Frankie Montas And Nick Martinez.

Rumors have been flying about Cease all winter, but he remains with the White Sox for the time being. About a month ago, it was reported that the White Sox were “pulling out” of ceasefire talks. It wasn't to take him off the market, the Sox wanted to wait until then Yoshinobu Yamamoto He signed to see if the clubs he missed would turn him over as a substitute.

With interest from the Yankees, that appears to be exactly the case. They were one of the clubs that was heavily linked to Yamamoto before he signed with the Dodgers, leaving the Yankees to look elsewhere. They also considered Snell a free agent Jordan Montgomery But the stop is also checked.

For the Yankees, they have Gerrit Cole It is well established at the top of its rotation but things become less clear after that. Carlos Rodon And Nestor Cortes They have the potential to be excellent contributors but both struggled mightily in 2023, whether due to injuries or poor performances. Clark Schmidt He will likely be in the mix at the back of the rotation, but the club has subtracted from his depth in Juan Soto Trade, as well Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Johnny Brito And Randy Vasquez It's all Padres now. Adding another starter, and having Rodon and Curtis move back a bit, would give the club a very strong front four, with Schmidt potentially at number five and shooters like him. Clayton Peter, Yoindris Gomez, Louis Gill And Will Warren Provide depth.

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A pause will improve any rotation in the league, despite a relative decline in 2023. He had a 2.20 earned run average in 2022 but that number jumped to 4.58 last year, though his underlying numbers paint a less drastic picture. His 2022 success was unlikely to be sustainable anyway, given his .260 batting average on balls in play and 82.3% strikeout rate, both on the lucky side. Those numbers moved to .330 and 69.4% in 2023, paying some extra points. The strike and swing rates had decreased slightly but were still well above average. His FIP jumped from 3.10 in 2022 to 3.72 in 2023, indicating a much less alarming turnaround, while his SIERA rose from 3.48 to 4.10.

Looking at the past three years as a whole illustrates some of that luck and paints an incredibly fascinating picture. He has made 97 starts since the start of 2021 with a 3.54 ERA and a 29.8% strikeout rate. His walk rate of 10.1% is high but his 12.6 wins above replacement from FanGraphs at that time places him eighth among all MLB pitchers.

His appeal goes beyond his skills, as his earning power is still limited by the arbitration system. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz expects to stop making $8.8 million in salary this year and will be due a raise in 2025 before hitting free agency.

The Yankees currently have a competitive equilibrium tax number of $290 million, according to List resources. They are due to pay the tax for the third year in a row in 2024, exposing them to escalating penalties. They have already passed the third level of $277 million and are approaching the fourth and final level of $297 million. This means they face a 95% tax rate on current spending until they cross the last line and then get a 110% tax rate on spending from there.

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Signing a player like Snell or Montgomery would likely require the Americans to pay a salary of about $25 million or more, with taxes effectively doubling that. Considering that Cease will earn about a third of that salary, this would obviously make him more attractive.

But the other side of this equation is that Cease would also require sending something to the White Sox in return, which is likely a very large group of talented young players. The Yanks just sent a slew of young pitchers in the Soto deal and may be hesitant to make another big impact on their talent pipeline. As for what the Sox are looking for, Rosenthal says they “remain open” and “are not necessarily inclined to favor a team that could include a major league-ready pitch.”

With the O's also having “sincere” interest, they may have an advantage over the Yankees in terms of having the talent to get the deal done. Despite continually raising expectations to the major league level in recent years, they are still considered to have the top farm system in the league by many evaluators. Jackson Holiday He is almost certainly untouchable but the club also has people like them Colton Cowser, Kobe mayo, Jordan Westberg, Samuel Basallo, Heston Kjerstad And Joey Ortiz Without enough open parking for all of them.

The club has also shown a bias against bold moves, whether on the trade market or free agency, which is why they have this loaded farm system and almost no money on the books. If they decide this is the right time to strike, Cease would fit well into a rotation with plenty of talent but limited experience. Kyle Bradish And Grayson Rodriguez They are at the top of the league at the moment, having both shown encouraging signs in 2023, but Bradish has less than two full years in the major leagues and Rodriguez less than one. Then there John meanswho has barely played the last two years due to Tommy John surgery, and the guys love it Dean Kramer And Cole Irvin Back-end options.

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As mentioned earlier, clubs like the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Red Sox may still participate and that may not be the size of the market. But with Yamamoto out, the pitching market appears to be heating up on a massive scale and a trade halt could happen any time now.