With all the news surrounding manager Dave Roberts acknowledging that the Dodgers held a private meeting with Shohei Ohtani, the team is still being very active on the starting pitching market.
The Dodgers have already been linked to Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Cease, but there is a former teammate of Cease’s that Los Angeles is showing interest in.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers, among four other teams, have shown interest in free agent right-hander Lucas Giolito.
Free agent RHP Lucas Giolito, 29, is drawing interest from the Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Royals.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2023
The Yamamoto and Ohtani markets could impact Giolito's destination. He posted a 4.88 ERA this year while tying for a league-best 33 GS.@MLBNetwork
Giolito is coming off a chaotic season, splitting time with the White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and the Cleveland Guardians. Giolito was off to a great first half with in Chicago, posting a 3.79 ERA in 21 starts, striking out 131 hitters and registering a 118 ERA+.
Giolito was packaged with reliever Reynaldo Lopez in a deal that brought the two right-handers to the Angels, where Giolito immediately struggled to begin his time in the AL West. In six starts, he posted a 6.89 ERA, allowing 10 home runs in just 32 2⁄3 innings, registering a disastrous 65 ERA+.
The Angels subsequently placed him, along with Lopez, reliever Matt Moore, first basemen C.J. Cron, and outfielder Randal Grichuk all on waivers, with the Cleveland Guardians snatching the three pitchers.
Giolito performed well in his first four starts back in the AL Central before allowing ten earned runs in his final two starts of the season. Giolito somehow had a worst stint as a Guardian than his brief time in Anaheim, posting a 7.04 ERA in six starts, allowing 11 home runs in just 30 2⁄3 innings, and registering an ERA+ of 60.
The upside with Giolito is his impressive strikeout numbers, as he managed to strike out over 200 hitters for the third time in his career this past season. The downside is something the Dodgers and White Sox experienced with Lance Lynn in 2023; the inability to limit the long ball.
Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes about the Dodgers’ top priority being the signing of Shohei Ohtani, something that has been reinforced in the team for years leading up to this offseason.
“Dave Roberts sat down to speak to reporters at his scheduled availability at these Winter Meetings on Tuesday. The Dodgers manager laid out what has been known for years at this point: The Dodgers want to be in the Ohtani business. ‘Clearly, Shohei is our top priority,’ Roberts said.”
It’s time to focus on something aside from all the hype surrounding this offseason.
Within the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver introduced a new in-season tournament, which gives all thirty teams a reason to remain competitive throughout the duration of the season. What if that were the case in Major League Baseball?
Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times suggests that baseball should introduce an in-season tournament of their own, pointing out the configuration of how the tournament would hypothetically play out.
“Initially met with skepticism and confusion, the NBA has accomplished its goal with the tournament: sparking more interest in regular-season games. Players have decided the tournament matters, and that’s what counts. Prestige will come with time. MLB should be taking notes from Nashville. An in-season competition of some sort would spice up a 162-game season that usually has a third of the clubs out of the postseason race by August.”