Would The Chicago White Sox Have Received Better Players For Dylan Cease From The New York Yankees?

The Yankees were rumored to be interested in trying to get the Sox ace.

Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register via

The San Diego Padres won the Dylan Cease sweepstakes. The Padres sent the Chicago White Sox three prospects and relief pitcher Steven Wilson in exchange for the team's ace.

The reviews on the return general manager Chris Getz got range from a decent trade to an excellent one.

We have graded the trade as a solid one. The Padres were not the only team trying to get Cease. The Yankees reportedly made a push for Cease after their ace, Garrett Cole had to be shut down with an elbow issue. The defending World Series champions Texas Rangers also reportedly checked in to see what it would take to get Dylan Cease.

You have to wonder could the White Sox have gotten a better trade return from the Yankees?

In addition to Wilson, the Sox received pitching prospects Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte along with outfield prospect Samuel Zavala.

Thorpe was the Padres' fifth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and 85th-ranked prospect in all over baseball. Zavala was San Diego's No. 7 prospect while Iriarte was No. 8.

Thorpe came over to the Padres in the Juan Soto deal with the Yankees. He has one of the best changeups in the minors. His fastball can top out at 95mph. He got up to Double-A in the Yankees' system. He posted a 2.81 ERA and 138 strikeouts in High-A last year. He was even better at Double-A with a 1.48 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and just five walks.

He was pitching well in spring training as he gave up just three hits and no runs over seven innings during three games.

Zavala is 19 and has tremendous potential at the plate.

He has never played above High-A ball, but he does have a career .389 on-base percentage along with a .452 slugging percentage. He can play the field well too.

Iriarte was pitching well in spring training by all accounts. He started 21 games last season in the minors between High-A and Double-A ball. He posted a 3.49 ERA between those two levels with a 128 strikeouts. His fastball is his best pitch and can top out at 100mph although it usually stays in the mid-90s.

How would a similar package from the Yankees compare to the Padres?

Wilson figured to be the Padres' primary setup man. The righty had a 3.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 2023. He is 29 and will be arbitration-eligible next season.

Tommy Kahnle or Jonathan Loáisiga figures to be the Yankees' primary setup pitchers. Kahnle is 34 and in the first year of a two-year deal paying him $5.5 million per season. The Sox immediately get a better return in terms of age and cost control with Wilson over a hypothetical Kahnle being in the deal.

Loáisiga is set to be a free agent after the season. Immediately you can see Chris Getz was probably not going to be interested in adding an older, expensive bullpen piece in Kahnle or a rental in Loáisiga.

The Yankees' fifth-ranked prospect is catcher Austin Wells. The Sox seem set on the catcher of the future with Edgar Quero. If the Sox demanded a top pitcher back, it would have to be New York's top pitching prospect, Chase Hampton. He is their system's fourth-overall prospect.

Hampton got to Double-A last year. He posted a 3.63 ERA between High-A and Double-A ball. Like Thorpe, he is not going to throw smoke, but his fastball has an amazing spin to it. He can also mix in a slider and a cutter. When you compare Thorpe's best pitch to Hampton, Thorpe is the winner every day.

The Yankees' seventh-best prospect is their 2023 first-round pick, shortstop George Lombard Jr. He is 18 and had a slash line of .311/.466/.356 between Rookie-ball and Low-A ball. Considering the Sox appear set at shortstop of the future with Colson Montgomery and Jacob Gonzalez, it is doubtful Lombard Jr. would be a good organizational fit.

Right-handed pitcher Will Warren is the Yankees' eight-ranked prospect. He has made it to Triple-A, so he would be more major-league-ready than Iriarte. Warren does not throw as hard as Iriarte.

Warren posted a 3.61 ERA at Triple-A with 110 strikeouts and 47 walks in 2023. He pitched a few games at Double-A before his promotion. He posted a 2.45 ERA at the level in six starts.

Warren and Iriarte are about the only players you can debate on who the better prospect is. Otherwise, it looks like the Sox would not have gotten a better deal from New York.