The Rangers have signed free-agent right-hander Kyle Gibson to a three-year, $30 million contract, according to reports from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Wednesday:
#Rangers in agreement with free-agent RHP Kyle Gibson, pending physical, source tells The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2019
Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a three-year, $30 million deal, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 27, 2019
It’s the first move in what’s expected to be a very busy winter for the Rangers as they head into their new stadium. They need pitching. Gibson is first step.
Gibson, 32, will join a new organization for the first time since being drafted by the Twins with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2009 draft. He’s had an up-and-down career to say the least, throwing for a 4.52 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP over 193 career appearances (188 starts) spanning seven seasons. He got off to a solid start in 2019 but ended up with a disappointing 4.84 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP — though on the bright side, he did have a career-high 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings. He was especially unreliable after the All-Star break, posting a 5.92 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP, getting moved to the bullpen in September. With that said, Gibson was affected by ulcerative colitis, and with an offseason to receive treatment and an opportunity for the symptoms to hopefully subside, perhaps he’ll be back to his old self in 2020.
Even with Gibson’s inconsistency throughout his career, he’ll be a welcome addition to a Rangers rotation that was not at all deep in 2019. Texas had just two pitchers make 20 or more starts (granted, two very good ones in Mike Minor and Lance Lynn), and 19 different pitchers made a start at some point. While manager Chris Woodward is open to innovative pitching strategies such as The Opener and tandem starts, it’s always nice to have an innings-eater like Gibson around who can keep the bullpen a bit fresher. While there’s an argument to be made that it would be better to a have a bunch of pitchers throw more effectively in shorter bursts, Texas obviously tried that without too much success in 2019, so it’s pretty easy to see why they look to be trending towards a more traditional pitching structure in 2020.