MLB insider provides an update on the trade markets for Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez | Sox

As the starting pitching market continues to heat up, where do things stand on a potential Dylan Cease trade?

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale shared on 670 The Score’s “Inside the Clubhouse” on Saturday that talks for the White Sox’s hottest commodity have stalled as of late. The main reason – the front office feels like they are still not getting enough in return for Cease.

“[The White Sox have] talked a little bit with the Yankees, a little bit with the Reds,” Nightengale said. “The Dodgers before they made their trade for Tyler Glasnow. But really haven’t come close to being motivated to move [Cease].

“I think they’re just kind of waiting for someone to say, ‘We’ve really got to get this guy.’ Because right now, you know, everything’s been very quiet on him. They’re waiting for someone to step up – nobody has.”

After a second-place Cy Young finish in 2022, Cease struggled throughout the 2023 season, finishing 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA, 3.72 FIP, and a 27.3% strikeout rate. He has two full seasons of team control remaining, which continues to make him of such high value around the league.

New White Sox GM Chris Getz has an important decision ahead of him as more players continue to sign. While waiting for free agency to further take shape makes it easier to push the teams who lost out on players of interest, it also runs the risk of taking serious suitors out of trade discussions. With clubs like the Red Sox, Reds, and Braves all involved in signings or trades for starting pitching over the past day alone, things are beginning to move fast and could reveal a lot about Cease’s remaining market if a deal doesn’t happen soon.

In addition to the Cease rumors, Nightengale also touched on the trade market for outfielder and designated hitter Eloy Jimenez. Despite Getz saying that teams were “interested” just over a month ago, the MLB insider now suggests otherwise.

“There isn’t much of a market for him,” Nightengale revealed. “I think if he’s traded, it won’t be until the All-Star break or trade deadline at the end of July. I just don’t think people want him right now.”

Signed to a six-year, $43 million deal before making his MLB debut, Jimenez has hit .275/.324/.487 with 89 homers in five seasons, good for a 118 career wRC+. However, Jimenez’s production has been limited by injuries, with 122 games and 504 plate appearances still marking his career highs – both of which came back in 2019.

The White Sox have given Jimenez an increasingly large share of DH time over the last two years in an attempt to keep him healthy, and since he largely missed time only due to an appendectomy in 2023, it appears to have worked. The problem is that Jimenez only hit .272/.317/.441, and a 105 wRC+ isn’t going to cut it for a full-time DH.

Jimenez is set to make $13 million in 2024, with the White Sox holding club options of $16.5 million in 2025 and $18.5 million in 2026 (with $3 million buyouts on both options). So, much like with left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer, while there is only one year of contractual control remaining as a guarantee, teams will have up to three years of control on Jimenez at a fairly reasonable price if they choose.

With the White Sox addressing more of their depth problems with the Bummer trade in November, the hope is likely that the club will get higher-profile talent in return for Jimenez. However, the ceiling on that return given Jimenez’s profile is going to be lower than most would expect, which will make the ultimate decision to trade him or wait until the deadline rather interesting. As it stands now, Getz might not even have a choice but to wait given Jimenez’s lack of appeal.

Outside of Dylan Cease, there’s no question that Eloy Jimenez still remains the team’s most valuable trade asset. We’ll see how the market for both players continues to evolve over the upcoming weeks and months.

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Featured Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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