2) Angels buy-low trade target: Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito is a guy who cemented himself as one of the better pitchers in the American League from 2019-2021. He had three straight top-11 Cy Young finishes and was consistently throwing upwards of 170 innings every year.
2022 was a major struggle for this right-hander and with just one more year left before he hits free agency and a projected $10.9 million dollar salary for 2023, it's possible Chicago would want to move on rather than extend him.
If Giolito were to be made available in a trade, the Angels should pounce very quickly.
I understand 2022 was rough. He went 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA in 30 starts. However, within the struggles, there're some bright spots.
First, he threw 161.2 innings which is still a solid number. Second, he still struck out 9.9 batters per nine while allowing the same HR/9 as his career average. Lastly, he had a 4.06 FIP to go along with his 4.90 ERA suggesting bad luck.
A lot of the bad luck comes from the batted balls put in play against him. Opponents had a .340 BAbip against Giolito, which is 40 points higher than the .300 league average. This is bound to dip way down towards the .300 number which should help Giolito drastically.
He did walk 3.4 batters per nine which is too many but I'd expect a big bounce-back from this right-hander in 2023 and hope it's in an Angels uniform.