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Which pitcher would you rather trade for: Dylan Cease or Corbin Burnes?

It’s a thought exercise.

Getty Images (Cease: Quinn Harris. Burnes: John Fisher)

I don’t mind telling you this: With the lack of any action on the Cubs’ part to sign free agents or make trades so far this offseason, I’m running out of ideas for daily articles to generate discussion.

Maybe this one will work for you guys. Maybe it won’t. But I thought I’d give it a shot anyway.

The ground rules for discussion here are this: I’m not asking you to put together a trade package for Dylan Cease or Corbin Burnes. What I’m asking here is, presuming there is such a trade package palatable to Jed Hoyer, which of the two would you rather have as a Cubs pitcher?

Here are the pros and cons for both.

Dylan Cease

Pros: Had two really good years in 2021 and 2022, finished second in AL Cy Young voting in ‘22. Throws hard and averages nearly 11 strikeouts per nine innings. Comes with two years of team control. Just turned 28 (yesterday, in fact. Happy belated birthday!). Former Cubs prospect “returning home.”

Cons: Throws really hard but often doesn’t know where the ball is going. Walks tons of hitters and has led his league in wild pitches twice. In part because of all the walks, throws a lot of pitches and doesn’t go deep into games (six or more innings in only 14 of 33 starts in ‘23). Did not have a good year in ‘23 overall.

Corbin Burnes

Pros: NL Cy Young winner in 2021, led MLB in K/9 innings, K/BB ratio, HR/9 innings, ERA and FIP. Combined on a no-hitter that year. Had nearly as good a year in ‘22. Has finished in the top eight of Cy Young voting four years in a row.

Cons: Only one year of team control remaining before he becomes a free agent, and is a year older than Cease. Didn’t have quite as good a year in ‘23 as ‘21 or ‘22, though still led MLB in WHIP.

It’s a close call here. Burnes is probably the better pitcher, but the Cubs would only be guaranteed of having him for one year before free agency. Cease’s control issues are worrisome, but perhaps some time in the Cubs’ Pitch Lab could help, and there are two years to sign him to an extension if the team wants that.

So, all other things being equal and a trade package (which I’m not going to post here, but you are free to discuss) being made available, which of these two righthanders would you rather see as a Cub?


Which righthander would you rather see the Cubs acquire by trade?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Corbin Burnes
    (537 votes)
  • 25%
    Dylan Cease
    (235 votes)
  • 17%
    (165 votes)
937 votes total Vote Now