The odds of a Lucas Giolito trade in 2023 seem to increase by the day. The Chicago White Sox trade deadline figures to be a busy one, and with Giolito being one of the top players available on the trade market, the Giolito trade rumors are running rampant.
At this point, it’d be shocking if there wasn’t a Lucas Giolito trade in 2023. By August, there is almost no chance that he’ll still be pitching for the White Sox, who will surely flip him for prospects before Giolito becomes a free agent this winter.
Best Trade Destinations for Lucas Giolito
Of course, the only variable is where the White Sox will trade Giolito. There are tons of Giolito trade rumors running around, connecting him to just about any team that needs starting pitching.
Based on Giolito’s latest news and rumors, we wanted to narrow down his list of suitors as much as possible. When there is inevitably a Lucas Giolito trade in 2023, here are the five most likely destinations.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Reds play things at the trade deadline. It’s been a long time since they were serious playoff contenders. Are they going to risk trading prospects for a short-term solution like Giolito or will they stand pat? It’s a tough call, but there’s no question that the Reds might need to add rotation help in order to win the NL Central and get to the playoffs.
Both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are on the IL while Graham Ashcraft and Brandon Williamson haven’t gotten the job done. Cincinnati’s rotation is in rough shape, and even if Greene and Lodolo return at some point, there are no guarantees.
Perhaps more than any other team in the playoff hunt, the Reds need a starter who can lead their rotation and make a genuine impact. Giolito fits that description and is a lock to be traded, which is why the Reds figure to be in close contact with the White Sox ahead of the deadline.
Even with the loss of Jacob deGrom, the Rangers aren’t in dire need of a starter. Nathan Eovaldi and Jon Gray have been outstanding while Andrew Heaney and Martin Perez have been solid. Plus, Dane Dunning has made a smooth transition from the bullpen to the rotation, giving Texas five solid starters. If anything, the Rangers might be more in the market for some back-end depth.
That being said, the Rangers could take an aggressive approach at the trade deadline. If that happens, they could make a push for Giolito, who would give them another top-of-the-rotation starter. With Eovaldi and Gray already there, Giolito would be a strong no. 3 starter in a playoff series, so adding him at the deadline would make Texas a far more dangerous team in October.
Giolito is from Southern California and would surely welcome the opportunity to join the Dodgers for the stretch run. Trading for one of the best players on the trade market would also be in line with how the Dodgers have approached the trade deadline in the past.
In fact, Los Angeles has even more urgency this season because the NL West race is far from decided. The Dodgers might need to make an impact trade just to win the division and assure themselves of a first-round bye.
The Los Angeles rotation is also an area of concern right now. Dustin May isn’t coming back this year and Walker Buehler is questionable at best to return before the end of the season. With Clayton Kershaw on the IL and Julio Urias yet to find his groove, the Dodgers have some questions behind Tony Gonsolin. Unless the Dodgers want to rely on youngsters Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan continuing to perform at a high level, they might need to work out a trade for a pitcher like Giolito at the trade deadline.
The Orioles are another team that hasn’t been in a position to be a buyer in several years, so it’s unclear how they’re going to play things at the deadline. The one thing we know for sure is that Baltimore has a talented farm system. The Orioles should be able to put together a trade package for Giolito that would be appealing to the White Sox. Even if there is a bidding war, the Orioles have a serious chance to land him.
More importantly, Baltimore needs a starter like Giolito to lead the team’s starting rotation. Tyler Wells and Kyle Bradish have been outstanding, but that’s it. Kyle Gibson and Dean Kremer have won a lot of games thanks to good run support while eating up a lot of innings. But they may not be fit to push Baltimore through the postseason.
If the Orioles are going to be serious about winning in October, they’ll need someone like Giolito to give them a third starting pitcher who can start in a postseason series and give them a fighting chance.
Perhaps more than any other team in the playoff hunt, the Diamondbacks need to add a starter at the deadline. They might actually need to add more than one. It looks like Merrill Kelly will return from the IL sooner rather than later, rejoining Zac Gallen at the top of the rotation. But the rest of Arizona’s rotation has some uncertainty, which is why Giolito would be the perfect deadline addition.
While Tommy Henry and Ryne Nelson have had their moments, the D’Backs don’t want to ask too much of them down the stretch, especially in what could be a tight NL West race. Plus, it doesn’t look like Zach Davies is going to get on track, so the D’Backs need a fifth starter to fill out their rotation. But if Arizona wants to be bold and acquire a pitcher who can help them in the NL West race and give them a third experienced starter for the playoffs, Giolito is a great fit.