White Sox finally trade Dylan Cease in shocking move with the Padres

Chicago White Sox Workout
Chicago White Sox Workout / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Given everything that the Chicago White Sox were saying and doing this offseason, there was some reason to believe that they may just never trade Dylan Cease. Obviously the team fielded a lot of calls and questions about his availability, but the offseason rumor mill was more about how much the White Sox loved Cease and how Chicago was asking for a king's ransom for him rather than any substantive trade talks.

However, spring training changes a lot of minds and can motivate teams to make moves before the start of Opening Day. Clearly the White Sox decided that moving Cease sooner rather than later was wise and the Padres decided that they actually needed to field a rotation, so the two clubs got together and struck a deal that sends Cease to San Diego.

White Sox News: Dylan Cease dealt by White Sox to the Padres in late offseason blockbuster

The most important part of this trade for White Sox fans, the return, is not yet fully known so we can't draw too many conclusions about how well Chicago did or didn't do in the trade. What we do know is that the White Sox will be getting two talented arms from the Padres in Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte. Both are great gets for a White Sox team that has some long-term rotation questions.

Something else we know is that moving Cease now shifts the White Sox from an organization that was only going to be going through a short reset to one that is more firmly considered to be rebuilding.

To some, that may be just semantics, but it matters when it comes to the future. No longer should Luis Robert Jr. be considered safe from trade rumors. Cease wasn't a guy that was entering the last year of his deal, but was instead a really good player who had two full years left before he was slated to hit free agency. With Robert Jr. having club options for 2025 and 2026, it is fair to wonder if he could be on the trading block next.

More than that, though, is that now there is little to no chance that the White Sox immediately switch gears back to trying to contend anytime soon. Between the trade deadline sell-off and now Cease leaving town, it is hard to envision a version of the White Sox roster that can actually contend without at least 3-4 years of player development and acquisitions.

That may be what is best for the organization in the long-term at this point, but that doesn't make today feel much better for White Sox fans who just had to watch another key player leave.

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