Will the Cincinnati Reds be the next team to secure a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher this offseason. The latest Reds rumors suggest that could be the case.
After watching the Philadelphia Phillies re-sign Aaron Nola and the St. Louis Cardinals ink Sonny Gray to a contract, two of the biggest pitchers available in free agency are now gone. The Reds, in turn, appear to have turned their focus to the trade market.
Tyler Glasnow's name surfaced in trade rumors on Monday, and Shane Bieber was added to the list of possible Reds' trade targets on Tuesday. However, there's another pitcher who's said to be on the trade block. The Chicago White Sox are shopping right-hander Dylan Cease as well.
Dylan Cease is under team-control through the 2025 season
While trading for Dylan Cease would be a nice addition to the Cincinnati Reds rotation, there is a major drawback when it comes to pulling off such a blockbuster trade.
Cincinnati would likely have to give up more in terms of prospect capital for Cease than if they were to trade for Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieiber. Why? Because unlike Glasnow and Bieber, Cease is under team-control for two more seasons.
Some fans may view that in a positive light, but adding Cease is likely to cost the Reds some valuable pieces for the future. There's no reason the White Sox shouldn't expect to receive at least one Top 100 prospect, along with some other pieces, in exchange for Cease.
Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber will be free agents after the 2024 season
The same cannot be said for Glasnow and Bieber. Those two hurlers are one-year rentals. Unless the Reds were able to work out a contract extension, both pitchers will become free agents after the 2024 season.
The Rays do not want to carry Glasnow's $25-million contract into next season, so they're motivated to move the towering right-hander. While the Rays aren't going to get pennies on the dollar, a starter in the final year of his deal with injury concern isn't going to net Tampa Bay a team's best prospects.
Bieber might be able to secure the Guardians a bit more in return. The right-hander's estimated 2024 salary is about half of what Glasnow is owed, and Bieber has a Cy Young Award in his trophy case. Still, an elbow injury last season is likely to make teams a bit leery of making a deal.
Why the Reds should trade for Shane Bieber or Tyler Glasnow instead of Dylan Cease
In short, the higher salaries, short-term contract, and injury history will lessen the return that the Rays and Guardians can expect for Glasnow and Bieber, respectfully.
Cease has thrown over 150 innings in each of the past three seasons. A down-year in 2023 might ding Cease's trade value just a touch, but the return for the right-hander's services is still likely to be more than what Glasnow and Bieber will fetch on the trade market.
If the Cincinnati Reds are able to secure one of these three pitchers in a trade, the fanbase should rejoice. It would signigify that the Reds are serious about contending in 2024. But adding Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieber wouldn't cost near as much as trading for Dylan Cease.