It was a quiet weekend for the New York Yankees as the first ever Super Bowl hosted in Las Vegas was dominating headlines the last few days. But now that football is finally over, baseball season is officially here. Move over, NFL.
Could the hot stove reignite after the Brewers and Orioles dumped gasoline on the flame with the Corbin Burnes trade a couple weeks ago? The Yankees could reportedly be involved in the league's next big transaction.
Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees are "still open" to trading for White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease, but, like in the Burnes talks, are unwilling to surrender top prospect Spencer Jones, and for good reason.
The Brewers reportedly wanted a package that featured Jones and the Yanks said no, which had Milwaukee pivot to Baltimore for an (objectively) inferior package (you can argue it wasn't, but a majority of talent evaluators would say you're wrong). After the O's and Brewers agreed to terms, reports surfaced suggesting that the White Sox would consider Milwaukee's return as the "floor" for a Cease deal.
It's unclear where Chicago stands now, but the Yankees have not given up their pursuit, which might suggest the demands have softened. Perhaps the White Sox are coming to their senses because each day they hold onto Cease (especially once the 2024 season begins), the more his price tag decreases. That is, unless he returns to Cy Young form in the first few months of the year (though that kind of feels like a longshot).
Yankees News: Dylan Cease trade, Josh Hader comments, Super Bowl recap
What would a package look like? We're not sure, but don't count on Jones or Jasson Dominguez going anywhere.
As for New York's endeavors in free agency, the front office has been much less aggressive on that front. Marcus Stroman was their lone "blockbuster" signing, and that was just a two-year, $37 million contract.
Previous rumblings suggested the Yanks were in on closer Josh Hader, who eventually signed a record-breaking deal with the Houston Astros. It's definitely a gut-punch that he landed with the Yankees second-most hated rival, but it's probably best Brian Cashman didn't splurge on a closer after learning from the Aroldis Chapman disaster.
Hader, however, said the Yankees were very much involved in his free agency sweepstakes even though the talks didn't go very far. Either the Yankees were there to gauge the market to see if they could swoop in at the right time, or they were once again used as leverage in the process.
We may never know for sure, but Hader is now an enemy as his deal represents a prolonging of the Astros' championship window.
Much like how Houston has dominated MLB, the Kansas City Chiefs have been even better in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs defeated the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII to go back-to-back for the first time since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots did it 20 years ago.
They won on the last play of the game with just seconds remaining in the first portion of overtime. And that victory, as Yankees fans know, signals a dynasty in the making.
Mahomes won another Super Bowl MVP. Taylor Swift was there celebrating with Travis Kelce, who changed the game with his clutch playmaking. Andy Reid retirement rumors are swirling. And how about a New York angle here? Former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spaguolo captained another defense to a championship. He's got two with the G-Men and now three with KC.
But enough of that. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training this week, and the NFL only has a few more tentpole events that will disrupt the 2024 MLB season. We're home-free, baseball fans.