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Red Sox sign RHP Lucas Giolito to two-year contract

Red Sox

Giolito is Boston’s second free agent signing this offseason.

Giolito was an All-Star in 2019 and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting the following season. Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Red Sox have reportedly added an arm to their starting rotation.

  • MLB executives reportedly wondering why Red Sox are ‘acting like a small market team’ this winter

Boston signs right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito to a two-year, $38.5 million contract. according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal would be worth $19 million in 2024 and $18 in 2025. The contract also has an opt-out clause after the first year, according to Passan.

Giolito, 29, has been pitching in the MLB for eight seasons. He is coming off a year in which he played for three teams: the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians.

The starter has accumulated a 4.88 ERA in 33 starts and 184 ⅓ innings with those clubs in 2023. Giolito allowed a season-high 41 homers last season (2.0 per nine innings), but recorded 204 strikeouts (10.0 per nine).

He I started the year strong with a 3.50 ERA in 105 ⅓ innings, 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.4 home runs allowed per nine through 18 starts. Giolito’s last 15 starts saw a 6.72 ERA in 79 innings, 10.5 strikeouts per nine and 2.9 home runs allowed per nine.

The right-hander also saw his walks allowed per nine drop from 2.7 in his first 18 starts to 4.8 in his last 15.

Giolito’s numbers indicate he won’t be the Red Sox’s ace, which is something the team remains in pursuit of.

That said, Giolito’s stats also show that he is an innings eater. The team could use a reliable arm that could relieve the bullpen after a season that consistently saw short outings from its starting pitchers.

As the rotation currently stands, Giolito could be the team’s No. 3 starter, depending on where the club places Brayan Bello. Chris Sale is currently Boston’s senior arm, assuming he’s healthy by Opening Day.

Adding Giolito is one of several moves the Red Sox must make to balance their shaky starting five. He helps anchor the middle of the rotation, but doesn’t solve Boston’s problem at the top.

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