Huge White Sox-Angels trade has ramifications for Blue Jays

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

In one of the biggest deals this trade season so far, the Los Angeles Angels acquired starter Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo López from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

For the Jays, the ramifications of this deal extend beyond there being one less rotation arm on the market. The Angels have signaled that they are keeping superstar Shohei Ohtani, going all-in for a push to the playoffs and have their eye on a Wild Card.

As one of the best starting pitcher options on the market, Giolito would have been a good fit to bolster Toronto's rotation depth.

In recent comments to the media regarding the team's trade deadline plans, GM Ross Atkins brought out the popular "you can never have enough pitching" adage, per Mitch Bannon of Sports Illustrated, with a distinct nod to the starting rotation depth. It's a phrase every GM in baseball has uttered, most likely on an annual basis around this time of year.

Adding a veteran arm like Giolito, even as a two-month rental, would have gone a long way to ensure that the club had plenty of options down the stretch and into the postseason. Hyun Jin Ryu is close to returning, but he's still a wild card in what he'll be able to bring to the table, while Alek Manoah remains the ultimate question mark after his trials and tribulations this season.

Through 21 starts, the 29-year-old Giolito pitched to a 6-6 record for a disappointing White Sox team. He takes a 3.79 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 121 innings with him to Los Angeles and sits top-20 in strikeouts (131) and K/9 (9.74) among qualified starters.

Angels beefing up for Wild Card race puts pressure on Jays

Even though Giolito didn't end up in the AL East, the Jays will still feel the effects of the trade. The Angels are now within striking distance of the third Wild Card, a position Toronto is clinging to ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees.

Unfortunately for the Jays, Los Angeles looks poised to do some damage down the stretch. After sweeping the hapless Tigers in a doubleheader on Thursday, the Angels now sit only three games behind Toronto.

While a Wild Card rival adding a starter like Giolito puts more pressure on Atkins to find a viable arm, the trade will have a more immediate and direct impact beyond the nine or 10 remaining starts Giolito will make in an Angels uniform.

With a three-game set against the Halos at Rogers Center this weekend, the Jays have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Angels, but wouldn't you know, the newest Angel is slated to take the ball in the Friday night opener.

The last time they faced Giolito, just a few weeks ago when he was still with the White Sox, they only mustered a couple of runs on four hits in six innings against the righty. If Toronto plans to give themselves some breathing room, they'll have to come up with a better performance against Giolito in his Angels debut.