Orioles have no excuse not to outbid Rangers' rumored Dylan Cease trade package

Feb 19, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) looks on during
Feb 19, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) looks on during / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Rabid speculation about a trade of White Sox ace Dylan Cease came and went months ago, after taking up all of the air in the room toward the beginning of the offseason, when everything was moving at a snail's pace. Multiple teams including the Orioles were interested during that first wave, but nothing ever panned out as Chicago GM Chris Getz silently took back his comments about a White Sox fire sale.

There was radio silence for months and then, last night, a renewed frenzy. Multiple sources reported that teams — particularly the Rangers, Padres, and Yankees — were once again in on Cease. White Sox scouts were sent to Rangers' camp, team officials headed to San Diego, and the Yankees have made a new offer after talks fell through last year.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who reported the Rangers and White Sox's communications, also supplied the following discussed trade package: Ezequiel Durán and pitching prospects Brock Porter and Jack Leiter (subscription required).

The Orioles have yet to be named in the new rush for Cease, but if they're still interested in putting a Cy Young votes-getter behind Corbin Burnes for the year, they could beat Texas' offer handily.

Orioles trade package for White Sox ace Dylan Cease

Durán is a Rangers bench piece — a pretty good one, but a bench piece nonetheless — and Leiter, despite still being a top 10 prospect for Texas, has a 5.37 ERA through Double- and Triple-A in 2022 and 2023. Porter did finish the year looking good in A-ball, with a 2.47 ERA. So if the White Sox's asking price for Cease is an average-to-good major leaguer, a pretty good prospect who still has a few years to go before arriving in the majors, and a prospect losing his shine, then the odds of an Orioles package being able to surpass that seem pretty high.

The Orioles have the best farm system in MLB, so although they'd never let go of the likes of Jackson Holliday, perhaps Heston Kjerstad would interest the White Sox? Further down, perhaps No. 10 prospect and No. 2 pitching prospect Cade Povich, who's had a rough go of things in the minors over the past two years, could be the Orioles' equivalent offer to Leiter? Of the major leaguers, maybe trading Jordan Westburg away would clarify some things around the middle infield while Holliday ascends to the majors?

If the White Sox would settle on the Rangers' package and accept nothing less than Spencer Jones from the Yankees, then maybe the Orioles could strike the perfect middle balance. Cease developments have returned in an avalanche, so if Baltimore is still interested, now is the time to do something.