Would the Chicago White Sox Have Received Better Players For Dylan Cease From The Texas Rangers?

The Texas Rangers were reportedly interested in acquiring Dylan Cease as well.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago White Sox traded ace pitcher Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres but there was a possibility Cease could have ended up with the Texas Rangers.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the day before Cease was traded to the Padres that the Rangers were preparing an offer to acquire Dylan.

It is unknown if the Rangers were willing to beat the Padres' offer. We do know San Diego gave up a young, inexpensive setup man in Steven Wilson and three prospects that immediately were ranked among the Sox's top 10 prospects.

Pitcher Drew Thorpe may have the best changeup in the minor leagues. Jairo Iriarte has the potential to be a solid starting pitcher or closer. Outfielder Samuel Zavala is a prospect who might finally solve the White Sox's eternal problem in right field.

I am not going to go in-depth here on these prospects since a deep dive has already been done on this site.

It is worth comparing to see if the Sox would have gotten better prospects had they acquired the Rangers' fifth, seventh, and eighth-ranked prospects. Thorpe was the Padres' fifth-ranked prospect and the No. 85 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Zavala was the seventh-rated prospect in San Diego's system while Iriarte was No. 8.

That means the Rangers would have had to have traded infielder Justin Foscue, who is Texas' fifth-best prospect. They would have included their seventh-ranked prospect in outfielder Anthony Gutierrez and pitcher Jack Leiter, the No. 8 prospect in their system. If Texas had to involve a setup man, it probably would be 30-year-old Josh Sborz.

Wilson is 29 and is not arbitration-eligible until next year. Sborz is in his first arbitration season making $1.025 million. Wilson had a 3.91 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 2023. Sborz had a 5.50 ERA last season, but he had some bad luck once the ball was in play considering he finished with a 3.75 FIP. Wilson is a year younger and has an extra year of team control, so the Sox made out better there.

Also, the White Sox seemed interested in getting two pitching prospects back and not two hitters. In Rosenthal's story (link requires subscription), the Sox were interested in Leiter, but they also wanted the Rangers' top pitching prospect and No. 4 overall, Brock Porter along with young utility player Ezequiel Duran.