CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox manager Pedro Grifol called the season to date “painful” as his team began taking apart its roster Wednesday night after trading veteran pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels for two prospects.
Giolito, speaking to reporters as he packed his bags in the White Sox clubhouse Thursday afternoon, said it was a “surreal moment” despite the fact he “knew something like this was coming.”
“A lot of emotions,” Giolito said. “I grew up here as a player and as a man. A lot of failure, a lot of success. I owe this organization so much. The city, the fans, it’s been an absolute pleasure.”
Giolito joins an Angels team that is attempting to make the postseason for the first time in a decade. He expressed excitement over joining two-way star Shohei Ohtani in their rotation, though as he scrambled to leave Chicago on Thursday, Giolito had to be informed of the one-hit shutout the Japanese star threw over the Tigers in a matinee contest.
“Oh, really?” Giolito said. “Well, unbelievable. Being able to be his teammate, between him and Mike Trout, two of the best guys in the league. I’m very excited.
“I like what they have going on. The push that they’re trying to make. I’m excited to be a part of that.”
The trade is the first of several the White Sox are expected to make before next Tuesday’s deadline. Righty Lance Lynn could be on the move soon.
“Everyone around the league is telling me that I’m gone, but I have yet to hear anything from anybody here, so you never know,” Lynn said. “In the past, I’ve had a little more communication, knowing what’s going on, knowing what may happen. This is one of those things you just prepare for.”
Lynn lasted only 4⅔ innings Wednesday, giving up seven runs to the crosstown Cubs. His 6.47 ERA might scare away some suitors, but his .208 batting average against right-handed hitters could still lead him to a contender. The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles are all looking for a starter.
“I actually know nothing,” Lynn said. “I haven’t been talked to about anything.”
Giolito leaves a White Sox team that has wholly underachieved since the All-Star break in 2021. After a prolonged rebuild, they won just two playoff games over the past three years, one in 2020 and then one the following October. They were 81-81 last season before dropping to 41-62 this year after blowing a 7-2 lead to the Cubs on Wednesday.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Giolito said. “It’s very unfortunate. One of the first things that comes to mind is the injury bug that’s plagued this team over the last few years. Its been hard to find a rhythm and consistency with all that stuff going on.”
Lynn added: “Obviously when teammates start getting traded away it means you didn’t do your job as a group. They’re the first two to go because as a group we didn’t do what we’re capable of.
“Injuries have a lot to do with it. They bit us pretty hard where we could never really get going.”
Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada found themselves on the injured list as much as on the field over the past couple of seasons, leading to others playing out of position, according to Lynn. They also lost closer Liam Hendriks for several months as he recovered from cancer and now has an arm injury. Even a change in managers didn’t solve White Sox’s problems, which only deepened under Grifol during his first year.
“It’s been painful,” Grifol said. “But at the same time its been educational.”