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Chris Getz reveals details behind the Dylan Cease deal, prospects in return

The Padres and the Dodgers are going to Seoul, South Korea to be a part of the first MLB games to play in South Korea, dubbed the “Seoul Series.”

Before leaving, Padres general manager A.J. Preller was motivated to add to his pitching staff. That’s what led to the Padres and White Sox striking a deal for Dylan Cease, according to White Sox general manager Chris Getz on Friday.

“There’s been a lot of interest all offseason, which is certainly not unexpected at all,” Getz said on NBC Sports Chicago’s brodcast during the White Sox-Cubs spring training game on Friday. “There were a couple of different variables that affected the timing of this. You’ve got free agency. You’ve got clubs that are plugging needs in different ways. But it really came to the last couple of days.

“I think teams got really excited when they saw him in spring training. His stuff has been very good. It was very encouraging for other clubs. You had the San Diego Padres who were on their way to Korea. They were highly motivated to get something done before they left the country. They had some roster decisions to make. It all really came together in probably 48 hours. It was an exciting moment for our front office, for our organization. And it finally came to an end and we feel good about the outcome.”

Along with the Padres, multiple reports revealed the Rangers and Yankees were also interested in Cease. One would suspect Getz might’ve sold Cease’s availability to those teams, who are all without key starters due to injury, ahead of the regular season.

The Padres are an expection, though they are without their Cy Young award winning starter Blake Snell, who is still a free agent at this time. But the Rangers are currently without Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom due to injury. They also lost Jordan Montgomery, a key starter to their World Series-winning rotation, to free agency.

As for the Yankees, they’re without Gerrit Cole, who will not require Tommy John surgery at this point, according to multiple reports. He will be out for at least a month with no clear timetable further than that. He leaves a gaping hole in the Yankees’ rotation, leading to their interest in Cease.

The attractive part about Cease is his contract. He’s slated to make a team-friendly $8 million this season. Cease is also under club control this season and next. For the Padres, if they don’t relish in his services this season or next, they could trade him before he reaches his actual payday post-arbitration.

The Pades ultimately topped the Rangers and Yankees, sending three of their top-eight prospects and a reliever for Cease.

The White Sox received pitching prospects Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte, who are the No. 5 and No. 8 prospects in the Padres’ system. They also got 29-year-old reliever Steven Wilson and 19-year-old outfielder Samuel Zavala, the latter of which is the No. 7 prospect in the Padres’ system.

“A very unique pitcher,” Getz said of Thorpe. “He’s got a 70 or even 80 changeup. Some evaluators graded that well. He’s got great command of three pitches, fastball, slider, and changeup. He’s got a lot of deception in that delivery. Now you’re looking at a guy who has above-average command — of those three pitches — that pitches off a changeup. That’s something very unique in our game and it’s going to make him a very talented pitcher at the major league level.”

Thorpe, 23, is the No. 85 prospect on MLB.com’s top 100 list. He made 18 starts in High-A and five starts in Double-A. Between both levels, he pitched 139.1 innings, recording a combined 2.52 ERA. At Double-A, he pitched a perfect 4-0 pitching record, earning a 1.48 ERA. The Padres received Thorpe as part of the Juan Soto trade to the Yankees.

Here’s what Getz had to say about Iriarte.

“[He has] a loose and easy bowling ball fastball, a wipeout slider, and a really good changeup,” Getz said. “Some of our scouts were comparing him to Edwin Diaz-type that has the chance to start. When I heard that I felt like we gotta try to get this guy in this deal.”

Iriarte, 22, like Thorpe, played for both High-A and Double-A last season. He pitched 14 starts in High-A, recording a 3.10 ERA in 61 innings pitched. In 13 appearances in Double-A, he made seven starts. There, he finished with a 4.30 ERA from 29.1 innings.

As for the other two, Wilson has pitched two seasons in the majors with the Padres. Last season, he finished with a 3.91 ERA from 53 innings in relief. He struck out 57 batters and walked 27.

Zavala, 19, is the Padres’ No. 7 prospect in their system. He went between the Padres’ Low-A and High-A affiliates in 2023. Between both, he hit .243 from the plate with a .797 OPS. He hit 14 home runs and 77 RBIs last season.

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