The Chicago White Sox had postseason aspirations in 2023 but it has been a dreadful first quarter of the season for the South Siders. The bad start has led many to speculate if the White Sox will start trading away key pieces at this summer's trade deadline.

One of those pieces is ace Dylan Cease, who has been one of the lone bright spots for the White Sox this season. Coming off a 2022 season that saw him finish second in AL Cy Young Award voting, Cease has too struggled this season like much of his Chicago teammates have.

Overall in nine starts, Cease has a 4.86 ERA. He put up a quality start his last time out, shutting out the defending World Series champion Houston Astros through six brilliant innings. He allowed 17 earned runs in the three starts before that, a welcome bounceback for a pitcher who was expected to be a perennial Cy Young candidate again this season.

Live and breathe baseball?

🚨 Get viral MLB graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

There's no guarantee that the White Sox will trade Cease or even entertain the notion of it. He has two more years of control left and the White Sox could turn things around during that time frame and need an ace like Cease to anchor their starting rotation.

If things continue to bottom out though and Cease is still pitching like an ace, the White Sox could place a hefty price tag on the 27-year-old. A playoff-contending team that needs another top-shelf arm will likely cough up plenty to garner the services of Dylan Cease.