Padres steal even more of Yankees' 'pitching depth' with Dylan Cease trade

Chicago White Sox Workout
Chicago White Sox Workout / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres added all the Yankees' pitching depth this offseason in the Juan Soto trade that was supposed to signal SD's surrender, then went ahead and traded more of their prospect capital for Dylan Cease, just when it looked like Brian Cashman might be getting involved once again.

AJ Preller, you sneaky fox.

Now, all of a sudden, the Yankees are racked with rampant uncertainty, awaiting Dr. Neal ElAttrache's final opinion on Gerrit Cole's elbow, which has the right-hander poised to miss at least a few months of action. They lost Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vásquez in large part because they trusted Cole to anchor a rotation full of question marks, and might no longer have that guiding light atop the group. They briefly flirted with doubling back to the White Sox and their reported sky high (Yankees Tax) asking price for Cease, but thought better of it, even as Cole languished on the sidelines.

Now? The Padres have several pieces New York is envious of, and the Yankees have a 25-year-old superstar outfielder who they can, I guess, trade at the deadline if they fall out of it once again this year? Kidding. Kidding. But...Michael King, who says no? Apparently, Drew Thorpe was available. That could've been fun.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Yankees were never seriously in on Cease, and must've had an aversion to the right-hander of some kind. Perhaps they were just allergic to surrendering Spencer Jones. Either way, Preller rises from the muck once more, while the Yankees consider a fifth starter whose name Brian Cashman doesn't seem to know.

Yankees ignore Dylan Cease trade, as Padres steal from NYY again

Look on the bright side, Yankees fans. If the Yankees were this out on Cease, then they must actually believe the positivity that's currently being fed regarding Cole's status, or believe the new Padres righty to be some sort of expensive, poor culture fit (though that's never stopped them before).

Either that, or they're just being foolish. Perhaps they bought Preller's lies about taking a step back from competitiveness this year hook, line and sinker, and have now facilitated the Padres' rise back into the playoff picture built on a rotation full of ex-Yankees (and Yankees targets).

Shades of the IKF/Josh Donaldson/Carlos Correa three-way trade tree that led to Minnesota profiting and the Yankees weighing down their own lineup. Hopefully, Soto's as much of a revelation as he seems to be, and the Yankees only need a short-term Cole fix rather than an overhaul. If not, though, this could end up looking like another patient victory for Preller, and strange hill for Cashman to die on.