On the surface, the San Diego Padres would appear to be an odd fit for Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease. But a deeper dive into the subject reveals that perhaps Padres President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller could replace Blake Snell atop the San Diego rotation with a phone call to White Sox GM Chris Getz.
Cease has been the topic of trade rumors all offseason. With Tyler Glasnow off to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cease becomes the unquestioned No. 1 target among teams looking to upgrade their starting rotation through the trade market.
Price tags for free agent starters are soaring, and acquiring Cease will be equally as costly on the prospect front. But San Diego has the assets to get a deal done. What would it take to pry Cease away from the South Side of Chicago?
This Padres-Dylan Cease trade package could actually work
The White Sox are said to be in the market for young pitching. So if the Padres want to swing a trade for Cease, it's going to cost the Friars some of the top arms in their farm system.
The conversation starts with Dylan Lesko. The Padres' 2022 first-round draft pick would undoubtedly have to be part of the return. Lesko made 12 starts a year ago in the Padres' minor leagues after slowly working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He was viewed as the best pitcher in the draft prior to his injury.
But it's going to take more than just that to get a deal done. Go ahead and toss in right-handed prospect Drew Thorpe as well. The New York Yankees second-round pick from two years ago was acquired in the Juan Soto deal earlier this winter.
Despite including two of the Padres' top pitching prospects, the package would fall woefully short of what the White Sox are looking for. Nathan Martorella, the Friars' power-hitting first base prospect, could be included as well. Martorella launched 19 homers last season while splitting time between High-A and Double-A.
Finally, because the White Sox are so stuck on idea of adding young pitching, the Padres could add right-hander Garrett Hawkins to seal the deal. Hawkins likely profiles as a reliever at the major league level, but that type of kicker would probably make Getz feel like he's getting adequate value.
Sorry if that seems like a steep price, Padres fans. But that's in line with the outlandish price tag that Chicago has placed on Cease. The question is whether or not that price is too rich for the suddenly-frugal Friars, who are stuck in weird contention limbo right now and need to figure out their situation fast.