The Cincinnati Reds were rumored to be interested in signing former Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito this offseason. Giolito, who pitched for three different teams in 2023, has reportedly agreed to contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Think what you will about Giolito, but the right-hander is a durable starter. After seeing the Reds use 14 different starting pitchers in 2023, Cincinnati definitely could have benefited from Giolito's availability and consistency.
But with the former All-Star off the board, the Reds will need to turn their attention elsewhere if they're looking to upgrade the starting rotation. What three options still exist with Giolito now off to Beantown?
1. Reds can look in-house after missing out on Lucas Giolito
This seems to be a rather unpopular idea among the majority of the Cincinnati faithful, and yet it's quite possible. While an overwhelming majority of Reds fans want to see their favorite team add another starting pitcher, Nick Krall may feel really good about what he has already.
The Cincinnati Reds already Nick Martinez this offseason, and the club has six viable pitchers who could open the 2024 season in the starting rotation. While no one in the Reds rotation eclipsed 150 innings at the major league level last season, Cincinnati's front office is hoping that is an anomaly.
Nick Lodolo started just seven games and was sidelined for the majority of his sophomore season. Both Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft spent time on the 60-day IL in 2023. Vladimir Gutierrez was expected to give the Reds some innings last season, but never came off the injured list.
The Reds were forced to rely on rookies like Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson to pitch well outside their comfort zone, and even young pitchers like Carson Spiers, Lyon Richardson, and Connor Phillips were given an opportunity in 2023.
On the plus-side, all those young pitchers, with the exception of Gutierrez, are still part of the Cincinnati Reds organization. While it's a bit of gamble to go into next season without a proven veteran, Nick Krall could decide to roll the dice and give his young hurlers a chance to succeed.