For the past few seasons, the Red Sox have needed to add some serious talent to their rotation. A lack of quality starting pitching in Boston — due to injury or otherwise — has prevented the Red Sox from thriving in a highly competitive American League East.
The 2023-24 offseason has been a different beast than many before it. The Red Sox were in on two incredible Japanese players that could've saved the rotation from another lackluster season. But the Dodgers snatched Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto and handed them legendary contracts that the Boston front office never stood a chance to compete with.
2023 National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell and reigning World Series champion Jordan Montgomery are still on the market, but both have reportedly expressed interest in playing for other AL clubs.
The Red Sox have been linked to White Sox star hurler Dylan Cease on the trade market, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, so all hope isn't lost. And pursuing a pitcher through a trade rather than chasing a high-profile free agent could be a better plan for Boston.
Should the Red Sox trade for Dylan Cease?
The Red Sox would likely need to give up a few big-time prospects to entice the White Sox to make a deal. Boston's front office has been notably reluctant to trade from its farm system in the past few seasons, but with a new Chief Baseball Officer at the helm, the times may be changing.
Cease finished second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2022, and he will not come at a bargain price. With the rival Yankees also interested in the right-hander, the Red Sox need be serious in their offer. Boston may have to part with the likes of Kyle Teel, Roman Anthony, Marcelo Mayer, or a combination of a few of them, to remain in the discussions.
Boston hardly needs another right-handed pitcher in its current starting rotation of all righties — some may argue that Cease is not as good a fit as he seems for that reason. But he would more than likely be the Red Sox's best arm and give them flexibility to move other pitchers to upgrade elsewhere. Regardless, Boston needs to pursue a quality starting pitcher, and proposing a trade with the White Sox is where they should start.
And it might just be the best they're willing to do this offseason if they're not keen on spending a lot of money.