Texas Rangers rightfully avoided matching Padres' massive Dylan Cease offer

The Rangers really could have used Dylan Cease, but that doesn't mean they made a mistake in not getting a trade done.

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

When word broke recently that the Texas Rangers were very involved in trade talks over Dylan Cease, Rangers fans got very excited. With Jordan Montgomery seemingly destined to play elsewhere in 2024 and injuries plaguing their rotation, the idea of adding an arm like Cease to their starting pitching staff had a ton of merit. That Cease would come with two years of team control as well was just icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, Texas was unable to close a deal, as the Padres swooped in to steal Cease in a late offseason blockbuster on Wednesday. While it would be easy for Rangers fans to feel bad about the outcome and lament another lost opportunity, a closer look at what San Diego gave up to land Cease seems to indicate that Texas may be better off after not making the move.

Texas Rangers should be thankful that they didn't overpay for Dylan Cease

When it was first revealed that the Rangers and White Sox were talking, the rumored prospect package Texas would have sent seemed surprisingly reasonable. If the cost for Cease truly was just Brock Porter, Jack Leiter, and Ezequiel Durán (or a package similar in value), the Rangers probably should have jumped at the opportunity.

However, the Padres decided to go above and beyond that by giving up a big league ready top 100 pitching prospect in Drew Thorpe, a very talented if wild pitching prospect Jairo Iriarte, a on-base machine in teenage outfielder Samuel Zavala, and Steven Wilson, who is a solid, if unexciting, big league middle reliever.

The Padres gave up all of that for two years of Cease, and that is a heavy cost for a guy that has his warts. Cease has always walked a fair amount of guys, is coming off a down year where he posted a 4.58 ERA, and he also saw his vaunted fastball tick downward last year both in average velocity as well as effectiveness.

Would Cease have made the Rangers a better baseball team? There is no doubt that he would have, and his type of swing and miss stuff would have been very welcome in Texas (especially in the first half). However, any pitcher is a risk ,with Cease bringing some specific challenges, so the cost does matter. In this case, Rangers fans should be glad that the team didn't get caught up in the bidding and overpay for Cease, even though that means the first half for the rotation could be awfully sketchy.

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