Deal Accomplished: Braves are Signing one of the best young pitchers…

Atlanta Braves starting pitching search Ceases to exist.

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox

The Braves could once again turn to ChiTown to fulfill their need for quality starting pitching.

The grand illusion, step into, mass delusion. Today, I try to find out if the Atlanta Braves should consider trading for Dylan Cease.

The answer? Yes, they should.

Now, I am going to look at the possibility of the Atlanta Braves trading for Dylan Cease and what that may look like. That makes the situation a little trickier.

How about we jump right in?

Dylan Cease is one of the best young pitchers in baseball.

Since his first full season in 2021, Dylan Cease has been worth 12.6 fWAR. Going purely by fWAR, he has been the 8th best pitcher over the last three years. He only trails Zach Wheeler, Kevin Gausman (yes really), Corbin Burnes, Aaron Nola, Gerrit Cole, Logan Webb, and Sandy Alcantara. That means he has been more valuable than guys like Max Scherzer, Luis Castillo, Blake Snell, Justin Verlander, and plenty of other big names.

That includes what was a slightly down year in 2023. Here are the last three years’ stat lines individually:

2021: 32 starts, 165.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 3.65 xERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.72 xFIP, 3.57 SIERA, 31.9% K rate, 9.6% BB rate, 3.0 bWAR, & 4.5 fWAR

2022: 32 starts, 184.0 IP, 2.20 ERA, 2.70 xERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.50 xFIP, 3.48 SIERA, 30.4% K rate, 10.4% BB rate, 6.4 bWAR, & 4.4 fWAR

2023: 33 starts, 177.0 IP, 4.58 ERA, 4.07 xERA, 3.72 FIP, 4.08 xFIP, 4.08 SIERA, 27.3% K rate, 10.1% BB rate, 2.4 bWAR, & 3.7 fWAR

Before I go too far, the big stat that jumps out to me is consistency. 32 starts, 32 starts, and 33 starts. Dylan Cease takes the mound every 5th day which is such a valuable trait in a starting pitcher.

The bWAR jumps around on Cease but the fWAR is pretty consistent on him. bWAR does weigh what actually happens a touch more for pitchers while fWAR looks at the analytics. As we can see, the analytics for Cease has been pretty consistent.

One reason that could be attributed to his ERA regression is the White Sox had a really bad defense. They ranked 25th in all of baseball as a team with a -18 OAA and 29th with a -59 DRS. I know the Braves were not great defensively, but they were a touch better at 22nd with -14 OAA and 15th with 16 DRS.

A bad defense can impact a pitcher’s ERA. However, looking at something that Cease can control, he is one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game. He has the 4th most strikeouts since 2021 with 667. This trails only Gerrit Cole, Corbin Burnes, and Kevin Gausman.

Imagine adding Cease to the same rotation as Spencer Strider. Since 2022, Cease has the 5th most strikeouts and Strider leads baseball over that time frame!

To summarize this section, Cease is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball. He is controlled for two more years, which is both attractive and limits the cost. It also means teams will be bidding on him.


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