Orioles sign former Phillies starter Kyle Gibson to 1-year contract

Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Kyle Gibson leaves the Phillies for the Orioles — with hopes to rejuvenate his career.

When Philadelphia Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski traded for Kyle Gibson before the 2021 trade deadline, not many would have expected the right-hander would struggle as much as he did. Gibson’s stint in Philadelphia was not memorable.

The Baltimore Orioles are now taking a gamble with the 35-year-old for the 2023 season, as the two sides agreed to a one-year contract on Saturday. A team that had only one pitcher throw more than 125 innings in 2022, the veteran could be a valuable innings-eater for Baltimore. Their current pitching staff has to find ways to support their great bullpen — Jordan Lyles is not what most clubs would consider an “ace.”

Out of nowhere, Gibson transformed into a reliable starter for the Texas Rangers in 2021 — before his trade to the Phillies. In 19 starts, he pitched to a spectacular 2.87 ERA and 7.3 H/9. His trade value skyrocketed and a rebuilding Rangers team did not hesitate to sell him.

The Phillies traded three pitching prospects for Gibson — Spencer Howard, Josh Gessner, and Kevin Gowdy. Only Howard has reached the majors thus far, as the former second-round pick pitched for the Phils’ major league team sparingly. Still, the Phillies’ biggest issue with the acquisition is the version of Gibson that they received.

Gibson did not perform well at all with the Phillies. Fans would have been thrilled if he could have posted his lifetime 4.52 ERA in red pinstripes, but he pitched even worse than that — an ERA of 5.06 in 236 2/3 innings during his time in Philadelphia. The most valuable thing Gibson provided to the Phillies was the 2 1/3 scoreless innings he threw in his team’s memorable postseason run.

Although Gibson did not win the hearts of many fans as a member of the Phils, he will have to be replaced with another pitcher soon enough. There are only three starting pitchers on the active roster if Noah Syndergaard does not re-sign.

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