Diamondbacks should be first in line to land this star pitcher

Arizona has the makings of a club that could win it all this season.  If you ignore the ERA of the starting rotation…

Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago White Sox
Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago White Sox / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Yesterday, I sat down and wrote about how the Diamondbacks could acquire Royals Zack Greinke for a good price (trade) thus bolstering their rotation.  No Greinke isn’t the sexiest pick for the job, but in a lot of ways, a trade with Kansas City for the 19-year vet would make sense.

Well today, I actually do have a sexy pick for the job.  His name is Lucas Giolito and he has been performing at a high level since 2019 for the Chicago White Sox.

It is no secret that Arizona desperately needs help when it comes to starting pitching.  Outside of the dynamic duo of Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, the starting rotation has been horrendous. 

How bad exactly?  Well in 212 innings pitched, 204 earned runs have been given up.  That is an ERA of 8.66.  Almost a run per inning; Wow!

Allow me to reveal how totally wicked it would be if the D-backs landed this star pitcher before the 2023 trade deadline.

The Diamondbacks should trade for White Sox SP Lucas Giolito

As I said above, Giolito has been performing at a high level for a handful of years now.  This season, he has been impressive owning a 5-4 record with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

His team (the White Sox) has majorly underperformed this season given the talented names on their roster.  Because of this, it is expected that the Sox will be sellers at the trade deadline in late July.  They are currently 11 games under .500, so a miracle would have to happen for them to have a shot at the postseason.

That being said, Giolito would be a perfect fit in a rotation that lacks firepower outside of Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly.  There are several reasons a deal for Giolito would make sense, but let’s start with the first reason: His talent.

In baseball, making a trade before the deadline usually indicates that you aren’t just adding some average Joe.  It indicates that you are adding a guy that can instantly upgrade your team in some capacity.  Enter Lucas Giolito.

Dating back to the 2019 season, Giolito has made 117 starts and has posted some impressive numbers.  In that time he has recorded 45 wins, an ERA of 3.82, a strikeout per 9 innings rate of 10.5, and a WHIP of 1.18.

In 3 starts this month, he has pitched 18 innings and he has only allowed 3 earned runs (1.50 ERA) while also racking up 20 K’s.  Among all AL starters, he is 12th in innings pitched, meaning the bullpen would really have the pleasure of saving their arms with a top 3 of Gallen-Kelly-Giolito.

The second reason a deal for Lucas Giolito would make sense is the fact that he is in the last year of his contract; he will become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Now you might be thinking, “Well why does that matter?” Good question.  If Giolito had more years on his contract, the White Sox would undoubtedly ask for more in return from the Diamondbacks via a trade.  But since the White Sox are afraid of losing Giolito to free agency next offseason, the asking price will have to go down substantially.

Let me give you an example to help clarify: If Giolito had more years on his contract, the White Sox might ask for 2 top 20 prospects from Arizona in return for their star pitcher. 

But since free agency is on his horizon, they may only be able to ask for 2 top 50 prospects to at least get something in return for him, instead of a team signing him next offseason, therefore, Chicago would get nothing in return for Giolito.

Hopefully, that made sense.

Let’s hope Mr. Hazen is aggressive and willing to pull the trigger when the deadline approaches.  I sure as heck wouldn’t want another team to land this 28-year-old stud.

Potential Trade:
Diamondbacks receive: SP Lucas Giolito
White Sox receive: SP Ryne Nelson, SP Jacob Steinmetz (D-backs #30 ranked prospect), OF Brett Johnson (Hillsboro Hops)