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‘Quite a surreal moment’: Underachieving Chicago White Sox trade pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López to the LA Angels


Lucas Giolito walked into the Chicago White Sox clubhouse late Wednesday and saw fellow pitcher Reynaldo López saying goodbye to teammates.

“I was like, ‘Oh, you’ve been traded? Where are you going?’ ” Giolito said Thursday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The two had been in the same organization since 2012 with the Washington Nationals.

“I was like ‘Oh, my God, this is going to be the first time in our whole career we’re not teammates,’ ” Giolito said.

Soon thereafter, Giolito was called into the office and found out he was traded along with López to the Los Angeles Angels for switch-hitting minor-league catcher Edgar Quero and left-handed pitcher Ky Bush.

“I guess they’re not going to break us up,” Giolito said.

Giolito said the trade was “initially kind of shocking.”

“I knew something like this was coming, but at the same time when it actually happens it is quite a surreal moment,” Giolito said. “A lot of emotions. I grew up here as a player and as a man. A lot of failure and a lot of success.

“I owe this organization so much. This city, the fans, it’s been an absolute pleasure.”

Giolito and López were pivotal additions when the Sox began their rebuild in 2016.

Late Wednesday after a 10-7 loss to the Cubs, they were the first two players moved in what figures to be a busy sell-off by the trade deadline for a team that entered Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians a season-worst 21 games under .500.

“Given this club’s performance over the last several months, it’s apparent that these types of moves have to take place given where we are at and putting us in the best position we can be going forward,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said late Wednesday night.

“Certainly not where any of us in the organization thought when this year started we would be come the trade deadline. But clearly moves like these in terms of putting ourselves in the best position going forward are essential, and we are certainly pleased to add Bush and Quero.”

Giolito and López, both free agents at the end of the season, joined the Sox organization in December 2016 as part of a trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals.

“Obviously Lucas’ and Reynaldo’s tenure with the White Sox is not ending the way we envisioned when we first acquired them,” Hahn said. “I complimented both of them not just on their performances on the field but the players they were in our clubhouse and the way they represented themselves and this club off the field.

“They will both certainly be missed.”

Giolito is 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 21 starts this season.

Gio’s been a workhorse for us,” manager Pedro Grifol said Wednesday. “I call him Mr. Consistency. He’s the same guy every single day.”

Giolito struggled in 2018 with a 6.13 ERA but put it all together the next season to earn All-Star honors while going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and 228 strikeouts.

He received American League Cy Young Award votes in 2019, ‘20 and ‘21. Among the highlights in 2020, Giolito threw a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He was the team’s Game 1 starter in the 2020 AL wild-card series against the Oakland Athletics, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. He started Game 2 of the 2021 AL Division Series against the Houston Astros.

Giolito rebounded after a tough 2022 to become one of the most sought-after pitchers on the trade market. Now he has his destination.

“I like what they got going on, the push that they are trying to make,” Giolito said. “I’m excited to be a part of that along with Reynaldo.

“Being able to be (Shohei Ohtani’s) teammate, between him and Mike Trout, two of the best guys in the league, I’m very very excited. It’s going to be a very very fun kind of journey the next few months here.”

López is 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA and four saves in 43 relief appearances this season. He has 52 strikeouts, 22 walks and has allowed seven homers in 42 innings.

He appeared in 205 games with the Sox from 2017-23, making 91 starts. He was a starter from 2017–20, was used mostly as a reliever in 2021 and has been in the bullpen the last two seasons.

“They will both certainly be missed and certainly both can help make that Angels team better positioned for hopefully a postseason run for both of them,” Hahn said.

Quero, 20, is rated by as the No. 2 prospect in the Angels organization and No. 65 in baseball. He is slashing .245/.385/.332 with 13 doubles, three home runs, 35 RBIs, 39 runs and 54 walks in 69 games this season with Double-A Rocket City in the Southern League.

“Quero is one of the more highly regarded catching prospects in the game, at age 20, switch-hitting catcher who is one of the youngest players in Double A,” Hahn said. “He continues to develop as a game caller and is viewed by the industry as one of the top 100 prospects in the game.”

Bush, 23, is rated by as the No. 3 prospect in the Angels system. He is 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts in six starts this season with Rocket City. Over his last three outings, Bush is 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

“Ky had a lat strain that derailed the start of his season, and I believe there was a small groin issue while rehabbing from that,” Hahn said. “Back at Double A throwing consistently. He provides a four-pitch mix, quality left-handed starter.”

Hahn said he didn’t think “by any stretch” the Sox were done with moves. The trade deadline is 5 p.m. CDT Tuesday.

“But until you line up on the actual deals and everything gets approved medically, nothing’s done until it’s finally done,” Hahn said. “I could be back at this podium again tomorrow, or I could be not talking to you till Aug. 1. It’s hard to say.”

Giolito said thanks to Sox fans for the support.

“Going on Twitter and Instagram, it’s just filled with amazing emotional messages from so many fans that I’ve got a chance to perform in front of for the last six or seven years,” he said. “It really means a lot.

“Wonderful, passionate fan base. I’m hoping that at some point in the future they can have a lot more fun watching this team play well.”



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