The Boston Red Sox have made a key addition to their starting rotation, agreeing to a two-year, $38.5 million contract with right-hander Lucas Giolito. The former All-Star joins the Red Sox after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox.
Key Details of Giolito’s Contract
- Two-year deal worth $38.5 million
- Includes opt-out clause after 2023 season
- Adds veteran arm to Red Sox rotation
By signing Giolito, the Red Sox have secured a pitcher who has shown ace potential in the past, but is looking to revive his career after struggling with consistency issues the last two seasons.
Background on Giolito Prior to Signing
Giolito was originally drafted by the Nationals with the 16th overall pick in 2012. After being traded to the White Sox, he broke out with an All-Star 2019 season, going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA. However, he posted a career-worst 4.48 ERA between Chicago and Minnesota last season.
Despite his recent struggles, Giolito still offers upside for Boston at age 28. His fastball velocity and strikeout rate remain strong, pointing to a chance at a bounce-back year. The opt-out clause also gives him incentive to perform well in his short Red Sox tenure.
Lucas Giolito Stats Over Last 5 Seasons
What Giolito Brings to the Red Sox Rotation
Adding Giolito gives Boston a reliable mid-rotation starter to slot in behind Chris Sale and Nick Pivetta. With Nathan Eovaldi and James Paxton both free agents, the rotation was a major area of need this offseason.
Giolito figures to take the ball every fifth day and provide plenty of innings, having made at least 25 starts in five of the last six seasons. His career 8.6 K/9 also shows he can still miss bats with the best of them.
There is certainly some risk with how much Giolito has struggled recently. However, Boston’s spacious home ballpark could benefit the flyball pitcher. Most importantly, he represents a marked upgrade over the back-end options the Red Sox trotted out last season.
What Comes Next for Boston After Giolito Signing
Signing Giolito is likely just the first of many moves for Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox this winter. Even with Giolito now in the fold, the rotation still needs further reinforcements.
Eovaldi could return on a short-term deal, while Japanese righty Shota Imanaga has reportedly drawn interest from Boston. The Red Sox have also checked in on former Yankee Jameson Taillon along with a highly-regarded international market for pitching.
Offensively, Boston remains linked to free agent shortstops such as Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson. The team is also monitoring the trade market for catchers after dealing Christian Vázquez last year.
Final Thoughts on Giolito Deal
The bottom line is that signing Giolito makes the Red Sox better in 2023. His contract is short and relatively inexpensive, providing production without hampering future payroll flexibility.
If Giolito’s struggles continue, then he can be cut loose next winter when the opt-out looms. However, Bloom and the Red Sox are betting on a pitcher with proven upside to deliver in Boston. After the rotation woes of last season, adding an experienced arm like Giolito is an important step.
There is still ample work ahead for Boston this offseason after finishing last in the AL East in 2022. But in locking up Lucas Giolito, the Red Sox rotation has taken shape heading into next season. Now fans will hope more moves follow to return this club to contention starting next spring.
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