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The White Sox are willing to be petty with the ace of their pitching staff, Lucas Giolito, and it could backfire rather quickly.
After an offseason filled with labor negotiations, the White Sox have the gall to go to arbitration with their best pitcher in Lucas Giolito over $50,000, which amounts to chump change in the world of MLB contracts.
Giolito is likely to be named Opening Day starter for the third consecutive year. He knows his importance to this White Sox squad, which is why he didn’t back down over such a small number. The two sides entered those talks with hope of reaching a short-term contract, only to come away with nothing when the White Sox lowered their initial offer for reasons unknown.
White Sox rumors: Lucas Giolito a goner come 2023?
Understandably, Giolito was heated after the fact.
“Very frustrating,” said Giolito. “I love White Sox fans and I appreciated all the love from those guys [on social media]. It’s just very unfortunate, disheartening.”
Giolito’s agent went a step further.
“It would be absurd if they actually went to a hearing on this,” the agent said. “It would signify hard feelings on both sides. Not a positive for either side.”
Giolito won’t be a free agent until after the 2023 season, but if the White Sox continue to treat the 27-year-old pitcher this way, there’s no guarantee he’ll stay on the south side of Chicago or even entertain a new contract.
“Like I’ve always said about extensions, I absolutely love this team,” he said. “The more I play the more I understand my value as a player. And I just want fair. It’s always fair for me, that’s where I’m at.”
Giolito’s father even took to Twitter, bashing the White Sox for their lack of professionalism in the process.
“It would be ridiculous to arbitrate over $50K,” Rick Giolito tweeted. “The arbitrator would say WTF? I do not appreciate that the Sox lowered their offer almost twice as much as Lucas raised his. Luc was trying to be fair. Sox trying to punish him for not taking their offer?”
Overall, this nasty process ought to end soon, and before it gets to an arbitrator. If the White Sox do not admit their mistake, they’re at risk of losing a young piece to a potential championship contender after 2023 — while Giolito will still be in his prime.
“For it to come down to a 50K difference prior to the filing, it’s like, ‘Come on,’ ’’ Giolito continued.
It’s on the White Sox to mend this relationship and eventually give Giolito what he wants or get used to watching him pitch in a different uniform come 2023.