Chicago White Sox trade Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres

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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox traded Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres Wednesday in exchange for a small hall of prospects from the top end of San Diego’s farm system.

The Padres received Cease after sending the White Sox right-handed pitcher Drew Thorpe (4th in San Diego’s system, 64th in ESPN’s Top 100), right-handed pitcher Jairo Iriarte (Seventh in system, 109th overall from ESPN), outfielder Samuel Zavala (12th in system) and right-handed pitcher Steven Wilson (MLB).

Wilson, 29, went 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA, .185 opponents average, 22 holds and 57 strikeouts (9.7 per 9.0 IP) over 52 relief appearances (53.0 innings pitched) with the Padres last season.

He ranked 10th among National League relievers in holds and 11th in opponents average. Wilson held opponents to a .192 (10-52) average with runners in scoring position, righties to a .184 mark and left-handers to a .187 average in 2023.

Wilson has gone 5-4 with a 3.48 ERA, .188 opponents average, 27 holds, one save and 110 strikeouts in 102 career games (one start, 106 IP) over two major-league seasons with San Diego. He has limited right-handed hitters to a .179 average in his career.

Thorpe went 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA, 182 strikeouts (11.75 per 9.0 IP) and a 0.98 WHIP in 23 starts (139.1 IP) with Single-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset in the Yankees system in 2023.

He led all Yankees minor-league pitchers in wins, ERA and strikeouts, and was named MiLB.com Pitching Prospect of the Year. Thorpe also earned All-Prospect First-Team honors, Baseball America Minor League All-Star recognition and Pitcher of the Month honors in the South Atlantic League (June) and Eastern League (August).

Iriarte, 22, combined to go 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA, 128 strikeouts (12.8 per 9.0 IP) and a .216 opponents average in 27 games (21 starts, 90.1 IP) last season between Single-A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio. He began the season at Fort Wayne and was named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 21. Iriarte averaged 15.6 strikeouts per 9.0 IP in his 13 outings (seven starts) with San Antonio after being promoted from Fort Wayne on July 14.

Iriarte, a native of La Guaira, Venezuela, was originally signed by the Padres as an international free agent on July 2, 2018.

Zavala, 19, spent most of the 2023 season at Single-A Lake Elsinore as an 18-year-old, hitting .267/.420/.451 in 348 at-bats with 22 doubles, 14 homers, 71 RBI, 83 runs scored and 20 stolen bases.

Zavala, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, is a career .263/.389/.452 hitter with 48 doubles, nine triples, 25 home runs and 149 RBI in 213 minor-league games in the Padres system.

He originally was signed as an international free agent on January 15, 2021 for a $1.2 million bonus.

Cease had a down year in 2023, at least when it came to overall record and ERA. The right-handed pitcher went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA and 214 strikeouts over an American League-leading 33 games started.

Cease had his best season in 2022, when he went 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA and 227 strikeouts on his way to earning a runner-up finish in the AL Cy Young voting to the Houston Astro’s Justin Verlander.

A sixth round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, Cease was a part of a 2017 blockbuster trade at the deadline that sent veteran starting pitcher Jose Quintana to the North Side in exchange for the Cubs’ top two prospects at the time — Eloy Jimenez and Cease.

The Chicago White Sox are scheduled to host opening day against the Detroit Tigers on March 28th.

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