D-backs trade rumors: Lucas Giolito’s fit after reported interest

Jul 21, 2023, 4:30 PM

Lucas Giolito...

Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 09, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Lucas Giolito is a right-handed starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox who has been the subject of trade rumors galore with his team falling from the American League Central race.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the market for pitching help and have inquired about the 28-year-old, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

The D-backs have checked in on a multitude of pitchers on expiring contracts, Arizona Sports‘ John Gambadoro said, including Giolito.

The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching on Aug. 1 and Arizona wants to be aggressive in a tight NL West battle. The Los Angeles Dodgers are also reportedly in the mix to add Giolito.

Lucas Giolito’s potential D-backs fit

Giolito earned Cy Young votes each year from 2019-21 with the White Sox, boasting a 3.47 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in that span.

Last year’s results were a step back (4.90 ERA), but he has rebounded with a solid first half in 2023.

He entered the All-Star break with a 3.45 ERA before a disastrous start Tuesday in which he allowed eight earned runs.

The Southern California native’s strikeout rate from his three dynamite years has dropped from a career-best 33.7% to 25.2% this season.

He’s not the same pitcher, throwing fewer fastballs with more sliders and less swing and miss. But he’s been a very reliable cog in Chicago’s rotation this year and throughout his tenure, throwing at least six innings in 14 of 20 starts this year. He’s thrown over 160 innings each season since 2018, excluding 2020.

The D-backs are rolling into the deadline with an uncertain picture in the rotation.

Zac Gallen is a Cy Young contender and Merrill Kelly is expected to return during their homestand next week.

But with Zach Davies on the 15-day injured list after a tough stretch of starts, the D-backs lack another veteran starting option alongside Tommy Henry and Ryne Nelson.

Giolito is on an expiring contract, so the D-backs, or any team interested, would have to weigh the short-term benefit of rounding out the rotation for a playoff run with the risk of losing the asset.

He could provide Arizona a formidable veteran trio and the ability lighten the load for its youth and bullpen.

“Anytime you get quality starting pitching or quality people walking into your clubhouse at the end of the trade deadline, it’s obviously gonna help you win baseball games,” manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Friday. “That’s what we’re all about.”

White Sox package deal?

The White Sox could be a major player this deadline with the amount of veteran talent on the roster despite the 41-57 record.

That could create opportunities for package deals.

Chicago’s rotation includes 2022 Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease (4.18 ERA, 3.76 FIP) and 36-year-old Lance Lynn (6.06 ERA, 4.96 FIP) with a bullpen boasting LHP Aaron Bummer (7.22 ERA, 2.39 FIP) and RHP Kendall Graveman (3.15 ERA, 4.71 FIP).

Lynn is expiring, while Bummer and Graveman have another year.

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