Red Sox's Contract With Lucas Giolito Just Got Worse

The Red Sox received a major blow when it was revealed that SP Lucas Giolito could potentially be dealing with a UCL tear. Unfortunately, the situation has worsened now that crucial details of his contract have been revealed.
It turns out that Red Sox SP Lucas Giolito's contract isn't insured.
It turns out that Red Sox SP Lucas Giolito's contract isn't insured. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Giolito was supposed to be an integral part of the Boston Red Sox's starting rotation after signing a two-year, $38.5 million deal back in January. Fast forward to this week and it looks like Giolito's entire 2024 campaign could be in jeopardy after it was revealed that he's potentially dealing with a UCL tear.

For those hoping that the situation won't get worse, I have some bad news for you. Giolito's contract is aging like warm milk with each passing day.

Red Sox Rumors: Lucas Giolito's Contract Isn't Insured

According to Red Sox insider Rob Bradford, sources indicate that the "Red Sox do not have insurance on Lucas Giolito's contract." Assuming that's the case, Boston won't get any relief for the $18 million payroll salary he carries this year.

On one hand, it's easy to see why the Red Sox didn't insure the contract. Outside of undergoing Tommy John surgery when he was in the minors in 2012, Giolito has been healthy for the majority of his MLB career, making at least 29 starts in each of the five full-length seasons. That includes when he led the American League with 33 starts last season.

There just wasn't any real reason to believe that he was going to suffer a potentially season-ending injury this early.

On the other hand, the lack of insurance is just another gaffe in Craig Breslow's short time as Boston's Chief Baseball Officer. A $38.5 million contract is a lot to give any player, so the fact that it wasn't at least partially insured is head-scratching. It also wouldn't be surprising if Giolito's injury dissuades the Red Sox from pursuing more big-name free agents given that they've been open about keeping the payroll on the cheaper end.

Hopefully, Giolito's injury isn't as bad as speculated. However, if it is, a second Tommy John surgery will likely be required, meaning the 29-year-old hurler could miss all of 2024 and potentially part of the 2025 campaign.

Nick Pivetta and Brayan Bello are the only two Boston starters who've pitched at least 155 innings in a season before. Kutter Crawford pitched for a career-high 129 1/3 innings last season. Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock only combined for 178 1/3 last year while Josh Winckowski was only a reliever in all but one of his 60 appearances in 2023.

Whether or not Giolito's season is lost, it's clear that the Red Sox might need to consider adding more experienced arms to the mix, especially if returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2021 is the goal.

After all, FanDuel Sportsbook currently favors the Red Sox to miss the 2024 MLB postseason at -500 odds — an implied probability of 83.3%.

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