Boston Red Sox Sign Lucas Giolito

by Connor Thomure
Lucas Giolito Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have signed Lucas Giolito to a two-year deal worth $38.5M. Giolito has the option to opt-out after the first year. The 29-year-old righthander played for three teams (CHW, LAA, CLE) during the 2023 MLB season.

The 2023 season was arguably Giolito's worst since 2018, but a fresh start could be all he needs. During his seven-year span with the Chicago White Sox, Giolito was a one-time All-Star and finished in the top 11 for Cy Young voting in three straight years (2019-2021).

Giolito joins a Red Sox rotation that already features Brayan Bello and Nick Pivetta.

Chris Sale has been traded to the Atlanta Braves!

Expect Boston to look to add another starting pitcher to complete their five-man rotation.

Boston Red Sox Sign Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito in 2023

Giolito started 2023 with the White Sox before they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline. After a brief stint, the Angels placed the pitcher on waivers, and the Cleveland Guardians claimed him.

TeamIPK%BB%HR%ERAFIP
CHW12125.8%8.3%3.9%3.794.43
LAA32.222.8%10.1%6.7%6.896.81
CLE30.228.3%11.6%8.0%7.046.94
Total184.125.7%9.2%5.2%4.885.27

Giolito performed well for the White Sox last season and was a valued target at the trade deadline for many teams. Out of 63 qualified pitchers through July 23, Giolito ranked 31st in ERA (3.79), 20th in K/9 (9.74), and 16th in IP (121).

However, after joining the Angels, Giolito had a complete lapse in his season. The Angels cut their losses and let the deadline acquisition walk away in waivers after just six starts with the team. The former all-star finished the season with Cleveland.

Out of 58 eligible pitchers from July 24 on, Giolito ranked 58th in ERA (6.96), 58th in FIP (6.87), 58th in HR/9 (2.98), 55th in BB/9 (4.41), and 53rd in IP (63.1). Despite all these horrific stats, Giolito finished tenth in K/9 (10.37).

Lucas Giolito's Fantasy Impact with the Boston Red Sox

The question for 2024 is simple. Which Giolito is going to show up? It's more likely that Fantasy managers will get the better version of Giolito from early on in 2023. However, will he be consistent enough to be a reliable asset in Fantasy Baseball?

Steamer projects the righty to finish 2024 with 164 innings, 9.34 K/9, 3.31 BB/9, 1.47 HR/9, a 4.43 ERA, and 4.44 FIP. It wouldn't surprise many people if Giolito beat these projections this season. But if the consistency isn't there, Giolito could fail to meet expectations as he did in 2023.

This begs the question of where to draft Giolito in 2024 Fantasy Baseball leagues. FantasyPros lists Giolito's Average Draft Position at 220., or as the 61st overall starting pitcher. This puts him just behind Bailey Ober, Braxton Garrett, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jacob deGrom, and Yusei Kikuchi.

Behind Giolito lays Alek Manoah, Brandon Pfaadt, Bryce Miller, Nick Lodolo, and Ryan Pepiot. I'm taking nine of the ten players directly above and below Giolito in ADP over him. The only one I'm not drafting over him is Manoah.

Final Thoughts on Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito's signing with the Boston Red Sox is excellent for fans and Fantasy managers to see Giolito get a fresh start, in hopes of rejuvenating his career and returning to relevancy in Fantasy and beyond.

Giolito's ADP is currently 220.3, but I'm much more comfortable selecting him closer to 250. I am not drafting him anywhere before pick 220.

The inconsistency and a ridiculous home run rate in 2023 are reasons enough for me to stay away from Giolito unless he falls.

Chris Sale (180.7) and Nick Pivetta (187.0) carry an ADP better than their new teammate, but I fully expect Giolito to start on opening day for the Red Sox unless they sign or trade for another starter.


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1 comment

Dalton December 30, 2023 - 1:17 pm

Great article! I agree to much risk involved in picking him up.

Reply

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