Should the Angels bring back Lucas Giolito?

Does Lucas Giolito fit into the team's future plans?
Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

This year at the trade deadline the Los Angeles Angels made a big move to acquire starting pitcher Lucas Giolito from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league prospects. This trade signaled the Angels were attempting to make a serious run for the post-season and ushered in other players days later as well. Unfortunately, the Angels have not been performing up to standard and have fallen almost completely out of the playoff race before September has arrived.

Putting aside the Angels current status in the standings and looking toward the future, it is clear that the Angels still have work to do on their starting rotation. Outside of Shohei Ohtani, the rest of the rotation has had its up and downs. Guys like Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, and Tyler Anderson have had very strong stretches at different points in the season, but also have had some low points as well. Since Ohtani is a free agent, the Angels will have to find a way to try and keep him while also adding to their team, which will definitely be difficult.

What should the LA Angels do with Lucas Giolito?

As for how the Angels could go about trying to solve that problem, it really would come down to affordability and proven players that the Angels would look to add. With that, it is hard to see how Lucas Giolito would fit into that plan. Since his change of uniform, Giolito has been good, but shown signs of inconsistency too. Going 5+ innings in 4 of his 5 starts with the Angels, but also having a start against the Braves which featured him allowing 9 earned runs in less than 4 innings of work. For the price the Angels are likely going to have to pay to retain his services, it wouldn't make sense for the Angels to dedicate so much of their payroll to a guy who seems to be a shell of his former self. If the Angels could somehow get him back on a short-term contract averaging less than 10 million per year with Ohtani coming back that would be a major win, however, that is very unlikely.

On the flipside, if the Angels don't manage to get Ohtani to come back to Anaheim, the chances of Giolito returning would increase with the opening of payroll available on the team. Even though the Angels shouldn't take a chance on a player like Giolito long-term since he still has a lot to prove, why not let him prove it with another season or two? If there is any sort of a chance that Giolito could return to his previous form I think any team would be willing to give it a shot. In the end, it would be more of a situation where the Angels are in a position to take that chance.

Considering it seems like the Angels have been in desperation mode for the last decade and seem to not be letting up, I would be surprised if the Angels take the chance of investing in Giolito. I would expect Giolito to leave after this season and try his luck somewhere else on a team like the St. Louis Cardinals or the Boston Red Sox where they are in need of some starting pitching but also have the ability to take a chance on a player like him for the subsequent years while remaining in contention which the Angels seem unable to do for a full season.