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The Boston Red Sox are rolling the dice on a starter coming off a down season. The BoSox and free-agent righty Lucas Giolito have agreed to a two-year contract worth $38.5 million, CBS Sports HQ insider Jim Bowden has confirmed. The contract includes an opt out and a conditional option for a third year. The team has not yet announced the signing.

The contract will pay Giolito $18 million in 2024, plus a $1 million buyout if he uses the opt out, per ESPN. The 2025 salary is $19 million. If Giolito throws fewer than 140 innings in 2025, there's a $14 million club option for 2026. If he reaches 140 innings that season, there's a $19 million mutual option for 2026 with a $1.5 million buyout.

Giolito, 29, went from the Chicago White Sox to the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline, then from the Angels to the Cleveland Guardians a month later on waivers. The Halos went 8-19 in August and fell out of the postseason race, so they put Giolito and others on waivers for the express purpose of dumping their salaries.

In 33 total starts this past season, Giolito pitched to a 4.88 ERA with an AL-leading 41 home runs allowed in 184 1/3 innings. He did strike out 204 batters, plus he was very good before the trade to the Angels (3.79 ERA in 121 innings). Given his age and pedigree, not to mention his ability to eat innings, Giolito is a reasonable bounceback candidate.

Our R.J. Anderson ranked Giolito the No. 9 free agent available this offseason, and No. 6 among full-time pitchers. Here's his write-up:

If only Giolito had access to a neuralyzer, he could erase any memory teams had of him after he was traded to the Angels. (In turn they would remember only when he was with the White Sox, or forgive us, when he was a man in black.) Speaking of forgetting things, Giolito used his fastball less and less often as the season wore on. He leaned more on his backspinning changeup, ostensibly in response to his bout with gopheritis. Giolito is on the bright side of 30 and he isn't far removed from receiving Cy Young Award consideration in three consecutive seasons. That combination should help teams talk themselves into him being a good rebound candidate, albeit for a second consecutive offseason. 

Giolito will join erstwhile ace Chris Sale and impressive youngster Brayan Bello on Boston's rotation. The rest of the rotation is unsettled -- Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, and Garrett Whitlock could all get a chance to start or land in the bullpen -- and Boston could very well bring in another arm or two between now and spring training.

Because he did not spend the entire season with the team, the Guardians could not make Giolito a qualifying offer this winter. They will not receive draft pick compensation for losing him and his new team does not have to forfeit any draft picks or international bonus pool money to sign him.

The Red Sox went 78-84 and finished in last place in the AL East for the third time in the last four years. Giolito is the first significant free agent signing under new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow.