In the wake of recent offseason moves, the Pittsburgh Pirates have taken some steps to add to their roster. The acquisition of veteran Marcos Gonzales through a trade has been a notable move, but they still need to add more arms. The issue is that the team is never going to spend the type of money that would be needed to lure a legitimate free-agent pitcher.
The addition of Marcos Gonzales brings a seasoned arm to the Pirates' rotation, but their need for top-of-the-rotation starting pitching depth remains a big need. The Bucs need to start exploring other ways to add pitching. Like they did for Gonzales a trade might be their best option to acquire a top-level starter without having to get into a financial bidding process.
Dylan Cease, a name circulating in trade talks, could be the game-changer the Pittsburgh Pirates need.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Chicago White Sox are almost certain to trade their right-handed ace. Cease, who finished 2nd in the American League CY Young voting in 2022, has two years of control meaning it would cost a very respectable trade package to acquire him.
While the prospect of adding Cease is enticing, the reality of securing a pitcher of his caliber with two years of control poses challenges. Negotiations in the competitive trade market are intricate, requiring careful maneuvering to strike a deal that benefits both parties. The Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the better farm systems in baseball, specifically in terms of depth. They could definitely create a sizeable package to match the White Sox's asking price.
The potential addition of Cease goes beyond strengthening the rotation; it would symbolize a shift in the narrative around the Pittsburgh Pirates. A successful acquisition would send a message of intent and determination, demonstrating the organization's commitment to building a competitive team. Rather than just saying it and still bringing in bargain free agents like fans have become accustomed to.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates continue their offseason, the focus on starting pitching remains a top need. The recent addition of Marcos Gonzales signals a step in the right direction, but the pursuit of Dylan Cease would highlight the team trying to truly improve for 2024. While challenges loom in acquiring Cease, the potential payoff could be well worth the price.