Getz reaffirms that asking price for Cease is 'high'

February 18th, 2024

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Getz has handled a plethora of calls and texts regarding trade possibilities since taking over as White Sox general manager at the end of last August.

And there honestly were a few moments where Getz put away the phone after those interactions and thought incredulously, “That last offer can’t be realistic.”

“That has happened a couple of times,” Getz told with a laugh during an extended conversation Saturday. “Yeah, they have probably thought the same thing at times [about me] as well.”

Such is the life of a general manager. Navigating the trade market became one of the new endeavors tackled by Getz, who served in the front office for the Royals (2015-16) and the White Sox (beginning in 2017) but has never been the point man for deals.

These trades come about as Getz and his staff build a base for a new White Sox culture, a new White Sox identity. Let’s take the case of , a deal that has not materialized yet, but with trade rumors swirling around the right-hander receiving the most attention this past offseason.

Cease, 28, has two years of contractual control and is not only one of the most talented and durable starters in the game, but has the personality to comfortably fit in any clubhouse. Getz understands Cease’s value to the team, but also needs the return to be spot on for what he’s putting together.

So, if Baltimore’s package of left-hander DL Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz, which they used to acquire Corbin Burnes from Milwaukee, wasn’t enough in Getz’s mind, then he was right to hold on to the 2022 American League Cy Young runner-up. The ask for Cease remains high, which Getz confirmed again on Saturday.

“It is high. It should be high,” Getz said. “There have been some, let’s call it rumors, floated out there that we have asked for X, Y and Z -- which is just not accurate. I understand why teams do that, perhaps to their own fan base, but I’ve got a bit of a chuckle on some of the messaging put out there.

“We’ve had really healthy, good conversations about a lot of different players. Everyone is trying to improve their team, just like we are, and you respect that idea.”

Getz previously served as the White Sox director of player development, so he has the added perspective of knowing areas of strength and weakness within the White Sox system. He also has a similar understanding for competing systems, knowing he might be asking for pitching to headline a trade from one team or a shortstop from another.

Trades don’t happen in a general manager vacuum, or at least they shouldn’t, as the front office contributes their knowledge before Getz makes the call. That group includes manager Pedro Grifol, who applauded the lines of communication as Getz added nine players and a Draft pick through four trades.

“My opinion is always there. The communication is always there,” Grifol said. “I’m really happy with the system and the protocol that’s in place. We’re all in this thing together, all of us. And that’s not going to change. We had a lot of conversations after the season, or even after he got appointed to this position.

“We talked extensively about how we want to play the game and the type of players we want to run out there. I’ll be damned if he didn’t do a great job of doing that … I’m really happy about it and we did a good job turning this roster over.”

Learning about other organizations, their prospects and their Major League team based on these conversations has been “a fun part of the process,” according to Getz. He continues to build those relationships around the league, which is vital to conducting baseball operations and making decisions to do business for the White Sox -- even if a few of the return offers can be head scratchers.

“What fans would probably be interested to hear is how often you are having trade discussions in which you think you are pretty close to something and then it doesn’t go anywhere from there,” Getz said. “Then, when you get something close to the finish line, it’s pretty exhilarating for both sides.

“To make a fair deal, I think there’s a righteous way of conducting business, being open and honest about the players that perhaps we are sending elsewhere. I expect the same on the other end because when you are making a transaction, you want both teams to benefit.”