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Dylan Cease cuts through the noise of trade talk


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Spring training began Wednesday with pitchers and catchers heading to Chicago White Sox camp.

From Dylan Cease — whose name has been mentioned many times in commercial speculation throughout the off-season – Was among the group at Camelback Farm that participated in drills such as charging around the backfields and fielding a bunting.

“I don’t know if ‘surprised’ (still with the Sox) is the right word,” Cease said after Wednesday’s practice about the unique offseason. “I wasn’t really looking at this with a lot of expectations.

“For a while it looked like (the trade) was going to happen. That’s what I assumed. But when it didn’t happen, I said, ‘Okay, let’s go.’ ”

Cease followed the trade talks like everyone else.

“There were a lot of messages (from friends and family) saying, ‘I saw this report,’” Cease said. “And I said, ‘Yes, I saw that too.’ I said.

“But mostly I just focused on getting ready. At the end of the day, I just want to perform.”

Cease was among the best pitchers in the game when he entered the game. he finished Second in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2022He goes 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 32 starts. He went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 2023 but finished fifth in the AL with 214 strikeouts while tying for the league lead with 33 starts.

White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease, center, celebrates a 7-5 victory over the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 3, 2019. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)(John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

Cease, 28, is under team control this season and next season. He has been a reliable player, making at least 32 starts over the last three years. And he had more than 200 strikes in that time period.

“The reason he is in this position is because he is really good and teams want him,” coach Pedro Grifol said. “And it (the trade talk) doesn’t surprise him. He is here with us. He is our opening day starter. If something comes up that benefits both parties and our front office is excited about it, they will do it. If not, he’s our opening day starter.

“He’s here right now. He’s a White Sox guy. And every time I see him there, he puts a smile on my face. That’s where we are.”

Cease’s mindset this summer was focused on “getting my body ready.”

“I followed the reports and assumed they were true,” he said. “I tried to treat it like any other offseason. There was definitely a lot of noise, but at the end of the day I just want to perform. So the more I focus on what I need to do, that’s all that matters.”

Grifol and general manager Chris Getz praised Cease’s ability to block out that noise.

“You can only focus so much,” Cease said. “And the more you focus on what really matters, that’s what matters. Either way, I’m grateful to be a Major League Baseball player. So whether I’m here or somewhere else, I’ll try to make the most of this opportunity, and that’s what really matters.”

In previous conversations, Cease said Getz had let him know that the shooter would be notified if something happened near him.

“I think these things can sometimes be a last-minute thing,” Cease said. “I think it’s pretty hard to give too much notice, but he said he would let me know.”

Asked by journalists on Monday“At this point I expect him to be our opening day starter,” Getz said.

“He’s had a great offseason. I’ve been in regular contact with him and it’s no surprise that his name has been floated publicly in potential trades and it hasn’t affected him. He’s very professional and just focused on the task at hand. I definitely think he’s well-positioned to have an excellent year.”

Grifol first talked about giving Stop the ball in the season opener. At an event in Chicago in late January. The manager chuckled when he was told that the opening day starter announcement had to be one of the earliest in team history.

“It’s great,” Cease said of his nod. “I still think it’s something I have to earn and I’m not thinking that far yet. It’s definitely funny to be talking about it so early.”

He enters camp feeling “great.”

“This is my first offseason in a long time where I haven’t had triceps soreness and minor aches,” Cease said. “I need to make a full ramp. I hit all the home runs I wanted to hit.

“I feel like I’m in a really good spot.”


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