June 19, 2024

Mets strike out on another pitching target, who chooses even more desperate team

It’s a good thing the New York Mets landed Luis Severino early in the offseason or else they’d be 0-3 in signing free-agent pitching targets.

Lucas Giolito chose the Boston Red Sox over the Mets on Friday, giving New York its second “L” in a row when it comes to augmenting its rotation (yes, even if Yoshinobu Yamamoto was destined to choose the Los Angeles Dodgers). Giolito signed a two-year, $38.5 million contract that includes an opt-out after 2024, reports said.

Yankees' Luis Severino struggles again despite pitching behind opener as  disappointing season continues - CBSSports.com

According to Newsday’s Tim Healey, “The Mets were among the most aggressive teams trying to sign Lucas Giolito and indeed made an offer, per source.” The New York Post reported Dec. 26 that the Mets had “strong interest” in the right-hander.

Giolito allowed a league-high 41 home runs en route to a 4.88 ERA over 184 1/3 innings last season, his second in a row with an ERA approaching 5 (4.90 in 2022). But it was his performances with the Los Angeles Angels (6.89 ERA, 32 2/3 innings) and Cleveland Guardians (7.04 ERA, 30 2/3 innings) that caused the most concern after a trade from the Chicago White Sox and subsequent waiver claim.

Even though he has not fulfilled his billing as a one-time top prospect with the Washington Nationals, Giolito has proven to be an innings eater, which is valuable nonetheless. Over the past five full seasons, he has pitched at least 160 innings in all of them.

Despite a career 4.43 ERA, Giolito is 29 and has a career 9.6 K/9 mark, which represents upside in the lower tier (and at low risk) of the starting pitching market.

Lucas Giolito released: Best fits, potential landing spots for former  Angels SP - DraftKings Network

Giolito joins a Red Sox rotation that last year posted a 4.68 ERA, 22nd in baseball, and is littered with question marks. Fangraphs’ roster projection has Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford also in the rotation after the Red Sox on Saturday traded Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves for infield prospect Vaughn Grissom, per reports.

Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns will continue to seek additions to a rotation that finished with a 4.20 ERA in 2023 and still needs more stabilizing presences beyond Kodai Senga, José Quintana, Severino, Adrian Houser and Tylor Megill, the projected five as of now.

Shōta Imanaga, Mike Clevinger, Hyun-jin Ryu and Michael Lorenzen linger as options.

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