Former Phillies starter Kyle Gibson, cross-state rival have mutual interest

Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson could be headed to the Pirates

Earlier this fall, 10-year veteran starting pitcher Kyle Gibson got his first taste of Championship Series and World Series postseason baseball as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

While Gibson did not pitch in the Wild Card Series and NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, respectively, the right-hander did see NLCS and World Series action. Gibson tossed 2 1/3 combined scoreless innings in a single appearance in each series opposite the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. He surrendered two hits and a walk, while punching out two of his 10 batters faced.

Now a free-agent, the Indiana native seems poised to sign elsewhere — perhaps cross-state to the National League Central’s Pittsburgh Pirates. According to The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates have “genuine interest” in Gibson. Both sides reportedly recently talked via a video call.

Considering the Pirates have not made the postseason since 2015 and have a seemingly perennially low payroll, the odds are slim for Gibson to experience World Series baseball again in his age 35 season.

The Phillies acquired Gibson from the Texas Rangers in July 2021 — along with closer Ian Kennedy, and pitching prospect Hans Crouse — in exchange for three prospects highlighted by their farm system’s former top arm, Spencer Howard.

Combined between the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Gibson went an even 14-14 with a 5.06 ERA, 1.323 WHIP, and 205-71 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 236 2/3 innings. While not ideal numbers, Gibson was durable and tossed valuable innings for a Phillies rotation that otherwise has experienced some injury woes.

If Gibson winds up signing with the Pirates, he would be teammates with fellow former Phillie Carlos Santana, who recently signed a one-year, $6.7 million deal.

Gibson already talking to the Pirates is a sign that Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is looking elsewhere to fill out the 2023 starting rotation. While “Gibby” had more bad moments than good, fans cannot deny that he was a good clubhouse presence during one of the franchise’s best seasons in recent history.

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