The Chicago Cubs made a huge mistake. On July 13, 2017, they traded Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox for Jose Quintana. Don’t get me wrong: Jose Quintana is a great baseball player who deserved a step up from the struggling White Sox. But he will become known as the player who was traded for a Cy Young pitcher – Dylan Cease.
Let’s take it back to 2017. The Cubs were coming off of a year in which they won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Understandably, they were trying to replicate their success in 2017. But at the all-star break, their record was a measly 43-45. They needed results quickly, so they traded prospects Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox for pitcher Jose Quintana. The Cubs eventually turned the ship around and made the playoffs, but the Dodgers eliminated them in the NLCS.
Almost 5 years later, the Jose Quintana trade is already a complete disaster for the Cubs.
Cease’s White Sox Career
The White Sox called up Dylan Cease at the end of the 2019 season to gain some big-league experience. He struggled, compiling an ERA of 5.79 as MLB hitters took batting practice off of him. He turned it around in 2020; in the shortened season he pitched his way to a 4.01 ERA, utilizing his slider about 10% more than in 2019.
He stayed healthy for all of 2021 – a common theme for Dylan Cease. He was a bit above average in 2021 as he pitched his way to a 3.91 ERA with a 3.41 FIP, both signs of things to come.
In his lone outing of 2022, Dylan Cease struck out 8 in 5 innings, baffling hitters with his stunning slider. He ended up throwing his slider more than any other pitch; this probably won’t happen again, but the Tigers hitters just kept chasing them.
Conclusion – Why Dylan Cease Is Cy Young Caliber
It is undeniable that Dylan Cease is unbelievably talented. He was ranked as high as the #26 prospect in the MLB by Baseball Prospectus. His slider is downright nasty. We touched on this before, but he was making the Tigers look silly. Most importantly, he stays healthy. With all of the injuries that the White Sox have faced this year, he will get an opportunity to show off his stuff. When the time comes, he will prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Image credit: @WhiteSox Twitter