Evaluating the prospect package the Padres surrendered in the Dylan Cease trade

Here is a look at who the Padres gave up to land Dylan Cease and how the Padres did in the trade overall.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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On Wednesday evening, the San Diego Padres shocked everyone by trading for Dylan Cease. Yes, the Padres have been connected to players all offseason, but the general tenor of this offseason has been more about what the Padres have lost than what they have added. To say that trading for a guy like Cease wasn't really on fans' radars when spring training started is an understatement.

As it turns out, losing 3/5ths of a team's rotation is hard to cover with just internal options, and that is doubly difficult when many of the Padres' best pitching prospects were deemed to be not quite ready and sent back over to minor league camp during spring training. The end result was a strong likelihood that the Padres were having to consider external options, but few would have predicted that San Diego would end up with the biggest name on the pitcher trade market.

To land Cease, the Padres certainly had to pay up a bit. Cease comes with two full years of team control and is only making $8 million in 2023, not to mention the fact that the White Sox have been making heavy trade demands all offseason when it comes to Cease. Here is a look at the prospects that the Padres had to give up to land Dylan Cease, as well as a look at whether or not the price San Diego paid was a good one.

Padres Prospects: San Diego sends 4 players to White Sox in Dylan Cease trade

Jairo Iriarte

We'll start with a familiar name to Padres fans in Iriarte, who San Diego signed out of Venezuela for just $75,000. Iriarte was a consensus top 10 prospect in the Padres' farm system thanks to his tremendous raw stuff, including a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches higher than that, a slider with tons of break, and a changeup that has promise, even if it lags behind his fastball/slider combo.

The issue with Iriarte has simply been throwing strikes, and many have had him pegged as a bullpen arm in the big leagues. If he ends up as a reliever, losing him doesn't feel quite as bad, even though he could end up being a strong late-inning option. However, if the White Sox keep him in the rotation and he takes a step forward with his command, this loss could end up being painful.

Drew Thorpe

One of the big pieces the Padres got in return for Juan Soto earlier this offseason, including Thorpe in this trade is somewhat puzzling. He had a good spring and has a pair of swing and miss pitches in his slider and excellent changeup, as well as the ability to control all of his pitches. On the surface, Thorpe is exactly the type of guy that one would think the Padres would want to keep, given how much their rotation had been devastated by free agency.

However, San Diego clearly disagrees. It is true that in the big leagues, Thorpe is an unknown commodity, and in Cease, the Padres get a guy that should at least be a very solid No. 2 starter, if not more than that. One can quibble over whether or not the Padres improved enough with Cease to justify the cost, but you have to give up good players to get good players and, in this case, Thorpe was the odd man out.