Red Sox reportedly land RHP Lucas Giolito on 2-year, $38.5 million deal

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 26, 2023: Lucas Giolito #27 of the Cleveland Guardians throws a pitch during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field on September 26, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Lucas Giolito can eat innings. The question is whether he can limit runs for the Red Sox. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images) (Diamond Images via Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox have a new starting pitcher.

The team reportedly agreed Friday with free agent Lucas Gioilito on a two-year, $38.5 million contract, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. The deal reportedly includes an opt-out after the first season, effectively making it a one-year deal with a player option.

The opt-out essentially makes this a prove-it deal for Giolito while still guaranteeing him more than his career earnings to date through eight years in MLB.

Giolito was once seen as a big-time asset for the Chicago White Sox, but the past couple of years weren't kind to him. He bounced back enough to be a major asset at the trade deadline this year, but that didn't exactly work out for him. The Los Angeles Angels acquired him in exchange for a pair of significant prospects, then took such a big nosedive that they waived him (and many others) a month later to get under the CBT threshold.

The Cleveland Guardians claimed Giolito on waivers and were rewarded with maybe the worst form of his career. The 29-year-old allowed 24 earned runs in 30 2/3 innings, walking 16 and allowing 11 home runs.

Despite holding a 4.89 ERA since 2022, Giolito entered free agency with decent value (he was No. 19 on Yahoo's list) because of his ability to eat innings, combined with the stuff that once made him one of the best prospects in baseball. He has thrown at least 160 innings in every full season since he joined Chicago's rotation in 2018.

That durability was likely an attractive trait to the Red Sox, who ranked 27th in MLB in starting pitcher innings last season, with 774 1/3. Giolito will slot into the rotation alongside some combination of Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, Nick Pivetta and Tanner Houck.

(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports) (Yahoo Sports)

Giolito's signing takes another starting pitcher off the board in an offseason in which several contenders were in dire need of pitching. The New York Mets in particular were linked to Giolito after whiffing on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, with Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Marcus Stroman and Shota Imanaga still remaining as the top available arms on the market.

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