‘A very good haul of talent’: A look at the Chicago White Sox newcomers from the Dylan Cease trade

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Steven Wilson was at a dinner for the San Diego Padres travel party Wednesday ahead of the team’s trip to South Korea.

The relief pitcher went to get water when the team’s traveling secretary approached him.

“I had heard five minutes earlier that the Padres got (Dylan) Cease, so once he was like, ‘Hey, we need to talk to you,’ I knew what was going on,” Wilson said Friday.

Wilson was one of four players the Chicago White Sox acquired in the deal that sent Cease to the Padres.

The Sox also obtained pitchers Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte and outfielder Samuel Zavala. Those three were ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Padres system by

“We feel like it’s a very good haul of talent, both that can impact our major-league club right out of the gate and then plenty of opportunities within this deal to really get some impactful players throughout the complete deal,” general manager Chris Getz said Thursday.

Here’s a closer look at the additions.

Steven Wilson

The 29-year-old finished 10th among National League relievers in holds (22) and 11th in opponents average (.185) in 2023, his second season in the majors. He appeared in 52 games, missing time because of a right pectoral strain suffered in late June and left hip inflammation in late August.

“I thought I started really strong last year, tried to make a couple mechanical changes with my arm slot and ended up hurting my pec for a couple of weeks right before All-Star break,” Wilson said. “Kind of never got back into the flow of things, got injured a little bit at the end of the season. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but I felt like overall I put together a pretty solid season. Just trying to build on that this year and stay healthy and keep going from there.”

The right-hander had 57 strikeouts in 53 innings.

“If you look at the numbers, probably the sweeper,” Wilson said when asked of his best pitch. “I’d say the fastball got me into the league, I didn’t come into the big leagues with a sweeper. So transitioning to the sweeper kind of affected the fastball command and that is what I really worked on this offseason.

“This whole offseason was getting everything back to a good arm slot and the command back with the fastball. If you were to ask me two years ago, I’d say fastball. But I think I’m close to having it back to where it was before.”

Wilson got right to work with a scoreless inning and one strikeout Friday for the Sox against the Cubs at Camelback Ranch.

Drew Thorpe

The 23-year-old was part of two of the biggest deals heading into the 2024 season. He joined the Padres organization on Dec. 6 in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the Yankees. He was on the move again Wednesday.

“Being traded twice in the last three months, it’s interesting, but I’m excited,” Thorpe said Friday. “Those are big-name players. Juan Soto is one of the best players in the game and Dylan Cease was a Cy Young runner-up (in 2022). They’re really big names, so that’s super exciting being traded for them, knowing that you’re wanted by other clubs.”

Thorpe was rated the No. 5 prospect in the Padres system and No. 85 overall by, which ranks him at No. 3 on the list of Sox prospects. He led all Yankees minor-league pitchers in wins (14), ERA (2.52) and strikeouts (182) last season.

“(I) had a solid year, so just trying to build on that this year,” he said.

The right-hander said his changeup has “always kind of been my bread and butter.”

“I’ve never really been a huge velo guy, so I learned how to pitch early and move the ball around, keep hitters off-balanced,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe is scheduled to start Monday against the Cleveland Guardians.

Jairo Iriarte

Sox manager Pedro Grifol described Iriarte as having an “electric arm.”

The 22-year-old went a combined 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA, 128 strikeouts and a .216 opponents average in 27 games (21 starts) in 2023 between Class A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio in the Padres system.

The right-hander averaged 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings in his 13 outings (seven starts) with San Antonio.

Pitching coach Ethan Katz said the three new pitchers are “very intriguing arms.”

“I got some messages from the Padres pitching coach and other people I know over there who spoke very highly about them, as a person and the makeup and the arm,” Katz said. “I’m looking forward to getting them in here, getting to know them and see what they’ve got in person.”

Iriarte was rated the No. 8 prospect in the Padres system and landed at No. 9 for the Sox, according to

Samuel Zavala

The left-handed batter did a little bit of everything as an 18-year-old last season while playing largely for Class A Lake Elsinore, with whom he hit 14 home runs and stole 20 bases.

“I think in my game I try to stay in my approach,” Zavala, 19, said Friday. “Know my strike zone pretty well, don’t chase. I work a lot on my speed, trying to steal more bases. I’m looking to steal 30 bases here. I’m ready for that.” ranked Zavala the No. 7 prospect in the Padres system and he is No. 6 on the Sox list.

“I’m not the type of person who gets comfortable with the results, I always want more,” he said. “This year, I really want more.”