2. Reds trade top prospects and key asset for Dylan Cease
Again, swinging this type of trade is not going to feel good. Which brings us to another prospect-laden trade proposal that would see two of the Cincinnati Reds top prospects shipped to the Windy City.
Don't forget, when the Reds traded Luis Castillo to the Mariners, Nick Krall secured two of Seattle's top prospects in exchange for one year and two months of Cincinnati's top starter. The Chicago White Sox will be looking for a similar type of compensation.
Edwin Arroyo could easily be part of a deal for Cease. Acquired in the aforementioned trade with the Mariners, Arroyo would seem to be blocked at the big league level and perhaps has more value as a trade chip rather than a future starter in the Reds lineup.
But, as was the case with in the previous hypothetical trade package, one top prospect is not going to get the job done. The White Sox will want to offset the loss of the team's top pitcher and may want to secure Chase Petty in a deal for Cease.
Petty would be a big loss for the Reds farm system, but is still probably at least one year away from making it to the big leagues. That would fit Chicago's timeline rather nicely.
Finally, the Reds may have to add another young prospect plus their recently acquired Competitive Balance draft pick. Major league clubs can't trade their own draft picks, but the comp picks can be dealt. Cincinnati did so in their deal with the New York Yankees for Sonny Gray back in 2019.
This is yet another prospect-heavy trade that would would deal a big blow to Cincinnati's farm system. But, after moving up in the 2024 MLB Draft, perhaps Nick Krall could stomach parting with some of his young talent.