The Los Angeles Angels acquired right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, signaling their determination to contend for a playoff spot with Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels traded two of their top minor league prospects – left-hander Ky Bush and catcher Edgar Quero – to the White Sox, who got a solid return for two talented veteran pitchers playing their final season before unrestricted free agency.
Los Angeles announced the deal shortly after Sports Illustrated and ESPN separately cited unidentified sources in reporting the Angels will not trade Ohtani, the 2021 AL MVP. Ohtani will be an unrestricted free agent this winter, but the Angels look like they will pull out all the stops to contend for their first playoff appearance in the two-way superstar’s six major league seasons.
Giolito is the centerpiece of the deal for the Halos, who were eager to add an experienced starting pitcher. The 29-year-old was among the top available names on the market as an impending free agent unlikely to re-sign with the White Sox.
Giolito, who is from Santa Monica, is 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA this season in 21 starts for Chicago. His 131 strikeouts are 10th in the AL, and he has limited opponents to a .211 average in his last nine starts.
“Gio’s been a workhorse for us. I call him Mr. Consistency,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He’s the same guy every single day. A great teammate. He gives us everything we’ve got. He’s rooting for his teammates out on the bench. The Angels got a good guy. And they did in Lopey, too.”
The Angels’ six-man rotation has been inconsistent this season after a strong 2022 campaign, with even Ohtani having stretches of ineffectiveness. Giolito will join Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers in the rotation.
The Angels (52-49) have won six of their last seven to move four games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot, although the Yankees and Red Sox are also ahead of Los Angeles.
This aggressive trade is the latest move by the Angels to get rid of their reputation for wasting the talents of MVPs Mike Trout and Ohtani. Owner Arte Moreno’s club have the majors’ longest streaks of consecutive losing seasons (seven) and consecutive non-playoff seasons (eight, tied with Detroit).