Could the Chicago White Sox get a nice return for Lucas Giolito?

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn attempted to address the starting pitching hole left by Johnny Cueto when he signed free agent Mike Clevinger.

But that was done to the tune of a one-year "prove it" deal as the veteran right-hander returned to action for the San Diego Padres last year after missing all of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery and battled a sprain in his right knee throughout 2022.

While Hahn went bargain shopping, other teams such as the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers ventured into the high-end stores and landed the likes of Justin Verlander, Trae Turner and Jacob deGrom respectively.

Hahn's on record as saying the team will most likely go the trade route over free agency to fill voids in the lineup. To make a deal work, it takes two to tango and the White Sox have to have something appealing to offer if they expect to land quality in return.

The Chicag White Sox could consider trading Lucas Giolito away now.

The signing of Clevinger has loaded up the starting rotation with right-handed pitchers, so could a member of the staff be one to move to make a deal happen?

Dylan Cease certainly isn't going anywhere and neither is Lance Lynn unless the team is out of the playoff race and looking to make a move by the trade deadline.

Michael Kopech isn't scheduled to reach free agency until 2026 but his battles with injuries might make a team wary of giving up much to get him.

This leaves Lucas Giolito as one who could be a guy that can help a contender looking for a veteran to solidify the middle or back end of their rotation.

Giolito was the White Sox's solid number one following his All-Star season of 2019 in which he went 14-9 with a 3.41 earned run average.

He has since posted 11-9 marks in each of the last two seasons but has seen his ERA rise from 3.53 in 2021 to 4.90 last year. Over those two years, he has posted 378 strikeouts.

Although he has not performed to the level he did in '19, one thing a team could count on is his availability. With the exception of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Giolito has made 29 or more starts in each of his last five seasons and has thrown 760.2 innings for the White Sox since 2018.

The White Sox and Giolito were able to avoid arbitration back in April when the two sides agreed to a one-year deal for $7.45 million. However, as an arbitration-eligible player, projections have him set to make $10.8 million in 2023.

That price tag might seem a little steep but despite that, there could be interest in the veteran right-hander. ESPN's Jesse Rogers poll of team executives and MLB insiders had Giolito as one of the more notable players to be moved in trade behind Oakland A's catcher Sean Murphy and Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez.

Based on his being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and nothing on the horizon by way of a contract extension, it might not be a bad idea for Hahn to at least look into what offers are out there for Giolito before losing him without getting anything in return.

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