If it's coming down to who can offer the better package to the Chicago White Sox for Dylan Cease, the Baltimore Orioles would unquestionably defeat the New York Yankees in that battle. Not only do the O's have a better farm system, but they can absorb a far bigger talent drain than the Yankees can right now.
But Baltimore seems to be dilly dallying, which could open a window for Brian Cashman and Co. Fans shouldn't necessarily be optimistic, but this should remain in the back of their minds as the offseason progresses.
Last week, we talked about the absolutely ridiculous trade package proposed by SNY, which featured New York surrendering Jasson Dominguez, Chase Hampton, Will Warren and Brock Selvidge for Cease, who, again, is a talented player, but has just one desirable full season of MLB work under his belt.
Perhaps that was a good starting point for everyone to know where the boundary is. Next up was MLB.com, which published a series of trade packages for all the teams rumored to be in on Cease this offseason. The Yankees were on there again.
This time, the package was certainly much more doable, but still felt steep for fans' liking. Would you be willing to part with Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Austin Wells and Will Warren for Cease? Probably not, honestly.
MLB.com's proposed Yankees trade package for Dylan Cease still feels steep
Right now that would represent ... half of the Yankees' bench, their starting catcher, and their No. 6 starter for 2024. There's no debate on having to give to get here: Cease has the potential to be a massive difference maker, but the track record just isn't enough to gut more of your roster and have to find replacements for the numerous departed pieces.
If that means the Yankees eventually withdraw from the Cease talks because of the number of players they would have to surrender, so be it. But as we've said before, this shouldn't be considered a case of "prospect hugging." The Yankees depleted their pitching depth in the Juan Soto trade, which was an absolute necessity in order to get the deal done. There's no need to do that again for an inferior talent just because they need another starting pitcher.
There are options available for money alone. There are better potential trade candidates that would actually warrant the surrendering a package of this magnitude. Though MLB's prediction is perhaps easier to swallow than SNY's, it's still a bit too excessive, and it might foreshadow the Yankees' slow descent into the background on the Cease talks.