The Los Angeles Angels shocked the MLB world Tuesday, placing a number of key players on waivers. Notably, star pitcher Lucas Giolito was placed on waivers just a month after being acquired by the Angels for highly-regarded prospects. The Angels' messy situation is a conversation for another time, but now Giolito is wondering which team will claim him. The Cincinnati Reds were listed as an “obvious landing spot” for Giolito by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
However, Rosenthal also added a catch to Cincinnati's possible desire to claim Giolito.
“The Reds, who rank 28th in rotation ERA, are an obvious landing spot for Giolito,” Rosenthal wrote in a recent article, “but would claiming the right-hander and paying him approximately $1.7 million even be a smart call when the team’s playoff odds are down to 10.7 percent?”
Rosenthal also compared the Miami Marlins' situation to that of the Reds, and mentioned Giolito's struggles with the Angels.
Lucas Giolito's 2023 season
With the Chicago White Sox to begin the season, Giolito performed well despite the team's underperformance. He pitched to a respectable 3.79 ERA to go along with 131 strikeouts. The Angels felt he'd be a quality addition to their rotation and ultimately decided to acquire him ahead of the trade deadline.
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The move did not work out though.
Giolito currently owns a 6.89 ERA with the Halos, bringing his overall ERA up to 4.45 in 2023, per Baseball Reference. Teams like the Reds will need to consider the pros and cons of adding a pitcher like Giolito. If he benefits from a fresh start and finds his footing, then Cincinnati's rotation would certainly improve as a result. However, as Rosenthal mentioned, there's a chance the team may end up spending a lucrative amount of money (for just one month potentially) on a pitcher who's been struggling mightily.
The Reds currently sit in third place in the NL Central and are seven games back of the first place Milwaukee Brewers. That said, they are just two games back of an NL Wild Card spot.
It would not be surprising to see Cincinnati claim Lucas Giolito given their standing in the wild card. But it would be a risky decision.