Lucas Giolito’s eyes welled on more than one occasion as he spoke with reporters Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
He bid a tender farewell to the organization that raised him, reflecting on the triumphs and tribulations he faced as a member of a once promising Chicago White Sox core.
On Wednesday night, Rick Hahn struck a deal that sent Giolito and Reynaldo López to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for two prospects.
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As he cleaned out his locker at 35th and Shields, the brighter future that awaits him sparkled in spectacular fashion.
Shohei Ohtani had pitched a one-hit, complete-game shutout in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Detroit Thursday afternoon. In Game 2, he hit two home runs.
Giolito was wide-eyed when a reporter told him what his new teammate had done.
“Really?” he asked. “Wow. Unbelievable.
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“Being able to be his 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 journey the next few months here.”
Acquiring Giolito had everything to do with the Angels’ decision not to trade Ohtani at the deadline. They’re all-in on a postseason run, and if they were going to roll the dice, they needed to beef up the rotation.
“After talking with some of the guys over there in Anaheim, I like what they got going on – the push that they’re trying to make,” Giolito said. “I’m excited to be a part of that, along with Reynaldo.
"I’ve told you guys for years and years, I’m at my best when I'm in the present. So right now, I'm in the present. Got traded, moving on, and I'm ready to be a part of this pennant race in the AL West."
It would be easy to praise Giolito for taking his midseason fate in stride. But the truth is, he didn't. In going from the White Sox to the Angels, where he’ll pitch meaningful games alongside two of the greatest players who ever lived, there is no stride to be taken.
He's unequivocally better off.