Giolito reflects on White Sox tenure: 'I owe this organization so much'

July 28th, 2023

CHICAGO -- was walking through the White Sox clubhouse following Wednesday’s loss to the Cubs when he saw Reynaldo López saying goodbye to teammates.

When he found out the right-handed reliever was going to Anaheim, Giolito’s original thought was that he wouldn’t be teammates with López for the first time in their career. That thought changed within minutes, as Giolito was informed he was part of the same trade.

“So I guess they are not going to break us up,” said Giolito, who has been in the same organization with López since they were 18 and with the Nationals. “It was definitely a little shocking. I knew something like this was coming, but at the same time, when it actually happens, it is quite a surreal moment. Last night was my last game in the dugout as a White Sox.”

Giolito, a free agent after the 2023 season, talked to the media prior to Thursday’s series opener with the Guardians despite rushing to catch a flight to Toronto. He will start for the Angels on Friday after being traded for Minor League catcher Edgar Quero and left-handed pitcher Ky Bush.

Giolito posted a 59-52 record with a 4.20 ERA and 993 strikeouts over 929 innings and 162 starts with the White Sox. He had nothing but great thoughts to share of his time in Chicago, from the organization to the fan base.

“White Sox fans are a very wonderful, passionate bunch,” Giolito said. “The excitement they showed when I first came over here in the trade [from Washington], welcoming me into this organization, this city. Sticking with me through very difficult times, 2018 comes to mind, last year comes to mind.

“Just all the love and support. My phone, 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. Yeah, it really means a lot. I’m hoping that at some point in the future, they can have a lot more fun watching this team play well.”

Wednesday's trade marked the first of what figures to be many made by the White Sox prior to Tuesday's 5 p.m. CT Deadline, with the team playing through a disappointing 2023 campaign. Lance Lynn is one of those players who could be moved, with the veteran starter having an $18 million club option and a $1 million buyout for ‘24.

Lynn woke up to rumors of three teams acquiring him Wednesday, as he mentioned Thursday. But then had to go out and pitch against the Cubs.

“Yeah, in the past I’ve had a little bit more communication, knowing what’s going on, knowing what might happen,” Lynn said. “This is one of those things you just prepare for. You know it’s a business. Wherever you go, you go do your job.

“I’ve asked to communicate with everybody. When you play long enough in this game, you just assume that you’re going to be kept in the loop of what things might happen. I’ve been told, ‘We’ve got nothing for you.’”

Certainty for Giolito comes in the form of moving to a playoff race from a team 22 games under .500 at 41-63. He didn’t have a chance to watch Shohei Ohtani’s one-hit shutout in Detroit on Thursday afternoon in Game 1 of a doubleheader, but once again he smiled brightly when apprised of the superstar’s effort.

“Oh, really. Wow. Unbelievable,” Giolito said. “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 kind of journey the next few months here.”

Although Giolito wouldn’t rule out a return to Chicago via free agency, his focus is with the Angels. His memories are with the White Sox.

“I grew up here as a player and as a man. A lot of failure and a lot of success,” Giolito said. “I owe this organization so much. This city, the fans, it’s been an absolute pleasure.”

The White Sox losing streak extended to six games with a 6-3 defeat to Cleveland on Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jake Burger hit two home runs, giving him 24 overall (16 at home). Dylan Cease (4-4) struck out five and allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings.