Oh so NOW you trust Bob Nightengale, huh? Might wanna take back all of the trash talk you directed his way over the years for spelling errors or his other reports that didn't come to fruition if you want things to go your way this time around! Looking at you, Los Angeles Dodgers fans.
On Sunday morning, Nightengale absolutely nailed Aaron Nola's return to the Philadelphia Phillies despite mounting buzz about the Atlanta Braves and Dodgers getting involved in the proceedings. Nola, barely a couple hours later, re-upped with the Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million contract.
In the same column that predicted Nola and the Phillies would reach a "middle ground" -- which is exactly what they did -- Nightengale also had an exciting Dodgers bit that now has LA fans waiting on the edge of their seats.
He said the Dodgers are in trade talks with the Chicago White Sox about starting pitcher Dylan Cease, who has been in trade rumors over the last few weeks but with a lack of clarity on the likelihood he's moved.
At this point, though, the White Sox need to make everybody available if they want a legitimate shot at rebuilding successfully, which is exactly what Nightengale touched upon.
Dodgers Rumors: Bob Nightengale links LA to Dylan Cease trade
Cease is under team control through 2025 and would represent arguably the most prized trade target on the market outside of Juan Soto, so the Dodgers would be paying a steep price (assuming there's expanded interest in Cease).
Then again, the Dodgers always find a way to minimize the cost. Maybe they take on Yoan Moncada's money ($29.8 million) for the 2024 season? He also has a team option for 2025 if things work out in LA. Maybe they get extra aggressive and offer to bring Andrew Benintendi aboard? Unlikely, since he's signed through 2027 and is owed $67 million, but you never know.
Or perhaps they throw caution to the wind and see if they can sweeten the deal with Luis Robert Jr. or Eloy Jimenez, despite the two sluggers' injury troubles. The options are aplenty, but Cease remains linked to the Ddogers nonetheless, which is the positive takeaway here.
The cost for Cease may not be as prohibitive as many believe, either. He's coming off a year in which he finished with a 4.58 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 2023. He finished second in the Cy Young voting following the 2022 season, but his track record isn't exactly bulletproof. He's got a lot to prove at the MLB level.
The cost shouldn't matter, though. The Dodgers are getting a young arm with incredibly high upside that will have the opportunity to work with Mark Prior, who has fixed plenty of issues in various troubled pitchers in the past. They have a ton of prospects that are expendable. The time to minimize risk has long passed. Andrew Friedman needs to go all in this offseason.