MLB Insider reveals 3 Red Sox backup plans as race for Yoshinobu Yamamoto intensifies

If the Boston Red Sox miss out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, it appears there are a few fallback options.

World Baseball Classic Semifinals pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto
World Baseball Classic Semifinals pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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3. Red Sox rumors: Boston could sign All-Star seeking bounce-back season

Probably the least popular of the three backup plans the Boston Red Sox are reported to have set in place involves inking Lucas Giolito to a contract. The free agent was traded from the Chicago White Sox last summer and then picked up off waivers by the Cleveland Guardians.

Giolito, who was an All-Star in 2019 and a Cy Young contender that season as well, has fallen on hard times. The right-hander pitched well for the South Siders in 2023, but his wheels came off after being dealt to the Los Angeles Angels.

During his brief stint with the Halos, Giolito started six games and posted an ERA near 7.00. After that disaster, LA attempted to save some money over the final month of the season and jettisoned Giolito, along with other veterans like Hunter Renfroe and Reynaldo Lopez.

Giolito landed in Cleveland and served up 11 gopher balls in six starts for the Guardians while allowing 24 runs to cross the plate in just over 30 innings of work. It wasn't pretty.

However, Giolito would still be the perfect candidate to sign a pillow contract and look to bounce back in 2024 before returning to the free agent market once again next winter. Giolito could help stablize the rotation for at least one season, though it wouldn't be crazy to see him sign a two-year pact either.

Inking Giolito would offer upside at what's likely to be a severe discount compared to the likely contracts that both Jordan Montgomery and Shōta Imanga are hoping to sign. The Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to Giolito as well.

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