Ranking the 3 best options to upgrade the Reds rotation without breaking the bank

Whether through a trade or free agency, the Reds still have opportunities to bolster the starting rotation.

Cleveland Guardians pitcher Lucas Giolito
Cleveland Guardians pitcher Lucas Giolito / Ron Schwane/GettyImages
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A lot has been made of the $700-million contract that Shohei Ohtani signed this past week. The Los Angeles Dodgers then doubled-down on their spending spree by trading for Tyler Glasnow and inking the right-hander to a massive contract extension.

The Cincinnati Reds, unlike the Dodgers, are not in a position to just flush money down the toilet. Instead, president of baseball operations Nick Krall usually attempts to operate within the margins.

Don't look fo Cincinnati to enter the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes, nor should Reds fans assume that Blake Snell is on the team's radar. However, there are a few ways the Reds could look to bolster the starting rotation without breaking the bank.

3. The Reds could sign Lucas Giolito to a one-year deal without breaking the bank

There are other starting pitchers on the open market, but few have the pedigree of Lucas Giolito. If you're one of the many fans throughout Reds Country would want to see Cincinnati sign a durable starter, then Lucas Giolito is your man.

Giolito has started at least 30 games in each of the past three seasons. Wipe out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and Giolito has surpassed 160 innings pitched every year since 2018. Giolito is the type of pitcher that you know is going to give you his best every fifth day.

There is, of course, the horrific close to his 2023 campagin that is fresh in the minds of most baseball fans. After being traded from the Chicago White Sox, Giolito looked like a shell of his former self.

The former All-Star gave up an inordinate amount of home runs while his ERA hovered around 7.00 during his time with the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians.

But Lucas Giolito has what it takes to be a frontline starter in the majors and will likely accept a one-year prove-it deal. Jack Flaherty just signed a one-year deal for about $14 million with the Detroit Tigers, and it's a good bet that Giolito will be looking for something similar.