There appears to be a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to how the Chicago White Sox are handling all the Dylan Cease trade chatter.
Reports emerged over the past week that trade talks were heating up, only to be followed by a rumor that Chicago was planning to wait out the free agent market before moving the 2022 AL Cy Young finalist.
This time of year brings plenty of misdirection, half-truths, and rumblings that could be taken many different ways. However, the latest reporting from USA Today's MLB Insider Bob Nightengale suggests that Cease could be traded at the MLB Winter Meetings. The favorite to land Cease, however, is not the Cincinnati Reds.
The Braves, not the Reds, are the frontrunner for Dylan Cease
Dylan Cease is the prized trade chip as the MLB Winter Meetings begin in Nashville this week. With two years of team control remaining, Cease's contract situation is much more favorable than that of Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber. Both Glasnow and Bieber will be free agents after next season.
Cease also doesn't carry that same level of injury risk that comes with Glasnow and Bieber. Glasnow has yet to pitch over 150 innings in a season and Bieber suffered through elbow inflammation last season.
But it appears as though the Atlanta Braves have the inside track when it comes to trade negotiations with the Chicago White Sox. Cease is from Georgia, so it stands to reason that the right-hander would love to go home and play for a World Series contender.
While the expectation may be that Dylan Cease is headed to Atlanta, don't count the Cincinnati Reds out just yet. However, the price tag to acquire Cease is likely to be much higher than that of Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber. The Hot Stove season could go from simmer to boil at the drop of a hat during the upcoming Winter Meetings.