If one thing has been made clear 27 games into the Boston Red Sox’s season it’s that the starting rotation is in desperate need of improvement.
Boston’s 6.41 Starter ERA entering Friday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians is the second-worst in Major League Baseball. The only team they are better than is the historically awful Oakland Athletics.
Could some internal options such as Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Tanner Houck settle in and improve? Sure, but the current group is holding the team back significantly and is more than a breakout player away from notable improvement.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, the woes of an American League foe could aid their pursuit of an improved pitching staff.
The Chicago White Sox have gotten off to a 7-19 start and could be nearing a complete firesale if the trend continues according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
If the White Sox do in fact sell, right-hander Lucas Giolito — an impending free agent — would likely be one of the first to go.
Giolito has has had a middling start to the season with a 4.50 ERA, promising 28-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .248 batting average against in 28 innings this season.
However, the 28-year-old finished sixth, seventh and 11th in American League Cy Young voting between 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Moreover, his trade value would be within Boston’s reach given his aforementioned status as an impending free agent.
Boston has a logjam of starters — Sale, Kluber, Houck, Nick Pivetta and Brayan Bello currently belong in the rotation with James Paxton set to return soon and Garrett Whitlock expected to miss a few starts with an elbow injury. Regardless, running the same group out there is not going to garner favorable results.
Giolito won’t solve the Red Sox’s issues but could improve them in the present and essentially try out for the long term.