MLB trade grades: Evaluating Rangers prospects White Sox want for Dylan Cease

White Sox scouts have descended on Rangers spring training to review their farm system as a Dylan Cease trade is imminent.

Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox
Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox / Ron Vesely/GettyImages

The Chicago White Sox have shown increased willingness to trade ace Dylan Cease the last few days, a decision that coincided with a concerning injury to New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, as well as a stagnant free-agent market surrounding Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell.

The Texas Rangers haven't been shy about their inability to bring back the likes of Montgomery, who was their ace for much of the 2023 World Series-winning season. Montgomery was acquired at the trade deadline and led the Rangers to a title. Still, his asking price is too high for the Rangers liking, reportedly hoping for a five-to-seven-year contract this late into spring training. We wish him the best.

Montgomery's next team seems unlikely to be the Rangers. That hasn't stopped Texas from engaging in talks with the White Sox on Cease, who would be a much cheaper option. Cease has two years left on his contract and will make $8 million next season. He's also just a year removed from finishing second in AL Cy Young voting, though he did take a notable step back in 2023.

Cease is nasty, and with the right pitching coaches, should rebound nicely in 2024. The Rangers are interested but it'll cost them.

Grading the Texas Rangers trade package for Dylan Cease

Rangers-Dylan Cease

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the White Sox are known to be scouting the first three players listed in this trade package. Heading into his age-25 season, Duran is one of the centerpieces of this trade, as he's a proven, young MLB player who has proven he can play on the big stage. Duran can play multiple positions and could slide in at third base or shortstop for Chicago.

As for the prospects, Porter is the jewel of this crop. Porter is the fourth-ranked prospect in the Rangers system per MLB Pipeline. He is also just 20 years old and rocketing through the Texas farm. Porter was a fourth-round selection in 2022 and had a 2.47 ERA in 21 starts last season.

Leiter is a former first-round pick who has struggled since he was selected by Texas. The Vanderbilt product had a lot of hype heading into the Rangers system, but has just a 5.37 ERA across two seasons on the farm for Texas.

As for Harris, he is more of a throw-in, but an MLB-ready one. Harris could get playing time right away for the White Sox, either at first base or in the outfield/DH. Harris has also proven he can hit for power, with double-digit home runs in each of the past three seasons across multiple leagues.

Grading the trade offer: B