Chicago White Sox avoid arbitration with 7 players — including pitcher Dylan Cease — by agreeing to 1-year deals

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The Chicago White Sox reached one-year deals with all seven of their arbitration-eligible players Thursday, including starting pitcher Dylan Cease.

The Sox and Cease came to terms on a one-year, $8 million contract. The 28-year-old right-hander, who went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA and 214 strikeouts in 33 starts in 2023, has been mentioned in trade speculation throughout the offseason.

During a video conference with reporters this week, general manager Chris Getz said the Sox have had conversations involving Cease, “but I also know that we’re not going to move a player like Dylan or anyone else unless we feel like we’re going to benefit,” he said. “So it’s got to be right for all parties.”

Whether the Sox hold on to Cease — the American League Cy Young Award runner-up in 2022, when he went 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA — or deal him is one of the major questions remaining this offseason.

The Sox also avoided arbitration with infielder Nicky Lopez ($4.3 million), first baseman Andrew Vaughn ($3.25 million) and pitchers Michael Kopech ($3 million), Michael Soroka ($3 million), Touki Toussaint ($1.3 million) and Garrett Crochet ($800,000).

Kopech went 5-12 with a 5.43 ERA in 30 appearances (27 starts) in 2023. He moved back to the rotation in 2022 after spending most of 2021 as a reliever.

Crochet also plans to build up to go from the bullpen to the rotation. He had a 3.55 ERA in 13 relief appearances in 2023 after missing the 2022 season following Tommy John surgery.

Vaughn slashed .258/.314/.429 with 21 home runs and 80 RBIs as he moved to his natural position of first base after spending much of his first two seasons in the outfield.

Toussaint went 4-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 19 outings (15 starts) with the Sox, who claimed him off waivers in June. Soroka and Lopez were acquired in November as part of a six-player trade with the Atlanta Braves.

The Sox also announced they have named Jin Wong assistant general manager. He spent the previous 24 seasons (2000-23) with the Kansas City Royals, the last two as vice president/assistant GM.

Among his responsibilities with the Sox, Wong will oversee contract negotiations, salary arbitration, budgeting and payroll management and compliance with Major League Baseball rules and regulations, including the collective bargaining agreement.

Wong’s professional career began in 1997 with the Braves. His previous roles with the Royals were assistant GM for baseball administration (2015-21), director of baseball administration (2006-14), director of baseball operations (2004-05), manager of baseball operations (2002-03), manager of scouting operations (2001-02) and scouting operations coordinator (2000).

Wong joins the Sox as assistant GM Jeremy Haber is leaving the organization.


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