Padres acquire RHP Dylan Cease in multiplayer trade with White Sox

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease throws in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease throws in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The San Diego Padres acquired right-hander Dylan Cease in a trade with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday for reliever Steven Wilson and three prospects: right-handers Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte, and outfielder Samuel Zavala.

Cease, who turned 28 in December, was second in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2022 after going 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA. He went 7-9 with a 4.58 ERA last year for a White Sox team that went 61-101.

He agreed in January to an $8 million, one-year contract and is eligible for free agency after the 2025 World Series.

Cease is 43-35 with a 3.83 ERA in 123 major league starts over five seasons, striking out 792 and walking 79 in 658 innings. He has a 2.16 ERA over 8 1/3 innings in three spring training starts this year.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller said the teams started talking about a deal at the start of the offseason when there were reports the White Sox would listen to offers for Cease.

“He’s gotten Cy Young votes and consideration. He’s durable. He’s a power pitcher who can punch you out,” Preller said. “When you look at guys who can dominate a game or a season, he’s on a short list of guys who can do that.”

He averaged 95.6 mph with his fastball last season, throwing it on 43% of his pitches. He also throws a slider (39%), curveball (15%) and splitter (3%).

San Diego is coming off a disappointing season. Favored to contend for the postseason with a team-record opening day payroll of almost $258 million, the Padres skidded to an 82-80 record and missed the playoffs. San Diego traded star outfielder Juan Soto to the New York Yankees in Decembe r.

Cease joins a rotation that includes Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. The Padres play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, South Korea, in their season opener next Wednesday. Cease wasn’t going to be on the Padres’ flight to Seoul on Wednesday night and Preller said the team would decide in the next 24 hours if he’ll join the team there.

“We see him as a guy as a front-of-the-rotation-type starter and he fits in well with our group,” Preller said. “Adding really quality starting pitching, that’s always very attractive. We want to get to a situation where every single day we’re throwing out somebody that we feel good about the matchup and I think Dylan Cease helps us get there, for sure.”

Wilson, a 29-year-old right-hander, made his big league debut in April 2022. He was 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA last year in 52 relief appearances, striking out 57 and walking 27 in 53 innings. He is 5-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 102 games over two seasons.

Thorpe is rated the Padres’ No. 5 prospect by MLB.com. The 23-year-old pitcher was selected in the second round of the 2022 amateur draft and was acquired by the Padres from the Yankees in the Soto trade. He went 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA at Class A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset last season, striking out 182 and walking 38 in 139 1/3 innings.

Zavala, San Diego’s No. 7 prospect, turns 20 in July. He hit .243 with 14 homers, 77 RBIs and 21 stolen bases last year for Class A Lake Elsinore and High-A Fort Wayne.

Iriarte, the No. 8 prospect, is a 22-year-old who was 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA last year for Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio, striking out 128 and walking 45 in 90 1/3 innings.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the White Sox also designated outfielder Peyton Burdick for assignment.

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AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.

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