What we've learned this offseason, if anything, is that starting pitching is the most valuable commodity. If any pitcher has the ability to throw 5+ innings every fifth day, he's going to get paid well in free agency. Just this winter alone we've seen crazy deals like Yoshinobu Yamamoto getting the most money for a starting pitcher ever despite never throwing a single pitch in the majors. We've seen Lance Lynn get $11 million from the Cardinals despite posting a 5.73 ERA and allowing a league-leading 44 home runs (plus four more in his postseason appearance).
Not only are we seeing free agents get a ton of money, but we've seen prices in trades elevate as well. Just this past deadline the Los Angeles Angels had to trade each of their top two prospects just to get half a season of Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. This offseason we saw the Braves trade highly-touted prospect Vaughn Grissom just so they could get an oft-injured Chris Sale.
Dylan Cease is the latest example of a pitcher with an absurdly high price tag. The White Sox understandably want a haul, with Jon Heyman of the NY Post saying that their asking price is "the sun and the moon". Barring a drastic shift, any dream of Cease wearing an Angels uniform anytime soon can safely be put to bed.
White Sox are making a possible Dylan Cease trade to the Angels virtually impossible
The Angels and White Sox linked together last trade deadline on the Giolito deal and with the Angels needing a frontline starter, Dylan Cease was a pitcher on the minds of many Angels fans. He made sense as an option considering he was coming off a down year and would come with an extra year of team control.
The simple reality with this new update is that the Angels cannot pull a trade off. First, they shouldn't be giving "the sun and the moon" to get their hands on Cease who has really only had one superb season. He has potential for sure, but is far from the established ace that the White Sox are valuing him as.
Second, they don't have close to enough that Chicago would even want without giving away players they'd have no interest in parting with. Perhaps the White Sox pick up the phone if players like Zach Neto and Logan O'Hoppe are available, but a package centered around a prospect like Nelson Rada or Caden Dana can easily be beaten by teams with more to offer prospect-wise.
The idea of Cease was fun to dream about, but it wasn't very realistic before we knew how insane the ask was. Now that the White Sox are asking for an arm and a leg to get their ace, it's virtually impossible for the Angels to pull this off.