MLB Rumors: The Texas Rangers and Kyle Gibson are close on a deal, per Jon Morosi. Gibson, 32, is a righthanded pitcher who was a first round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2009, and who hit the market after spending his entire career in Minnesota.
Gibson is a good fit for the “durable guy you can plug into the rotation and expect to make 30 starts” role — while there is thought in some quarters to be some upside there, he’s probably a 180 IP, league average guy the Rangers can count on. Gibson does have ulcerative colitis, which is what Jake Diekman battled, and it is possible that the Rangers experience working with Diekman on managing his condition led to a greater comfort level with Gibson.
Gibson had a 4.86 ERA last year, albeit with a 4.26 FIP, so while fWAR saw him as around average, bWAR had him at replacement level for 2019. Gibson had a 3.62 ERA and 4.13 FIP in 2018.
Gibson isn’t a sexy signing, and I doubt he has the potential to explode like Lance Lynn did last year. For a team looking to contend in 2020, however, he helps fill the rotation and can provide value. Nabbing Gibson could set the stage for a higher ceiling, higher risk signing like Hyun-Jin Ryu, as Gibson would join Lynn and Mike Minor as guys you would expect to be able to stay on the mound and provide innings in 2020. If Gibson is the Rangers big starting pitching move this offseason, it would be a letdown, but as a piece of a bigger plan, he makes sense.
Kiley McDaniel projected 3 years, $45 million for Gibson in his offseason projections, and he said Gibson was a candidate for “a sneaky big and/or early deal,” and it appears he nailed it.
UPDATE — Evan Grant and Ken Rosenthal are also reporting Gibson to the Rangers is close.
UPDATE II — Rosenthal says the deal is done, pending a physical.
UPDATE III — Jeff Passan says Gibson is getting 3 years, $30 million. That’s the same deal Lance Lynn got last offseason, after Mike Minor got 3 years, $28 million two off seasons ago.