Yankees have least leverage possible with latest (weak) Dylan Cease trade offer

Keeping injury updates secretive won't help you now.

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

The Yankees reportedly reengaging the White Sox regarding Dylan Cease on Tuesday has nothing to do with Gerrit Cole! Ha HA! Don't you dare peek behind that curtain! All you'll find are a bunch of healthy pitchers who've been transparent all along!

Not buying it? Neither are the Chicago White Sox, who appear to have a golden opportunity to rebuff yet another Yankees trade offer that falls below their previously set expectations.

The Yankees sought to acquire Cease before Cole's elbow was in any sort of tube, MRI or otherwise, and came up short every time they attempted to engage without including Spencer Jones in their offer. Jones might be an all-world physical talent with a limitless ceiling. He also might be a high-K-rate outfielder who can't solve his swing issues and languishes at Double-A, barely passing the .700 OPS mark.

Every other MLB team seems to believe in him the same way the Yankees do, though, meaning he'll be included in every gouge-worthy counter proposal until the end of the season. If New York wasn't able to complete a Cease or Corbin Burnes trade without him before Cole was laid up, why do they suddenly believe they can now, when all the pressure to add is on their shoulders?

Yankees won't be able to trade for Dylan Cease after Gerrit Cole injury

There's certainly a chance that Cole's MRI was precautionary after all, and that the Yankees truly are preparing for him to miss Opening Day, but not the entire season.

However, the multiple opinions and the Cease re-ignition would lead you to believe that something deeper is going on here, as would the team's remarkable inability to tell the truth publicly in injury conversations.

At least this time there's further leverage to lose by being transparent, though it's unclear how much lower the Yankees' leverage could sink in these particular talks, especially if all parties assume the worst.

Baseball America, in a self-described attempt to be bold, proclaimed that Jones possesses the tools necessary to be the game's No. 1 overall prospect by this time in 2025. Plenty of players over the years have also possessed the requisite tools without ever translating them consistently into game action. The Yankees, and every MLB team, want to learn whether Jones is the exception to that well-worn rule.

Unfortunately, if New York wants a viable pitching staff in Juan Soto's walk year, they might not get to find out on their terms.