The Orioles have made a flurry of moves leading into the Winter Meetings that begin Sunday, with today’s news pertaining to the signing of a veteran starting pitcher who's a year removed from his selection to the All-Star team.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson has agreed to a one-year contract pending a physical, as first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Gibson isn’t the elite starter that the club is seeking, but he can slot near the back end of the rotation and perhaps serve as Jordan Lyles' replacement. The Orioles declined Lyles’ $11 million option.
The 40-man roster will grow to 38 players after Gibson signs.
Gibson, 35, is a former first-round pick in the 2009 draft out of the University of Missouri who has registered a 4.52 ERA and 1.385 WHIP in 10 seasons. He spent the first seven with the Twins, parts of the next two with the Rangers and parts of the last two with the Phillies.
Gibson represented the American League in the 2021 All-Star Game, finishing with a combined 3.71 ERA and 1.220 WHIP in 31 games between Texas and Philadelphia. He made 31 starts with the Phillies this season and went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA and 1.336 WHIP in 167 2/3 innings.
This is an example of the Orioles shopping below the top tier of starting pitchers. They reportedly had a video call on Friday with veteran right-hander Noah Syndergaard.
It also demonstrates that adding a left-hander isn’t necessarily a top priority.
The Orioles are hoping that Gibson can consume innings, as Lyles did, to lessen the burden on their younger starters and bullpen. He tossed 194 2/3 in 32 starts in 2015, 196 2/3 in 32 starts in 2018 and 182 in 2021.
Gibson made two relief appearances in the playoffs this year and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. His career log includes 12 starts against the Orioles, in which he’s registered a 3.82 ERA in 70 2/3 innings.
In six starts at Camden Yards, Gibson has gone 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.531 WHIP over 32 2/3 innings. He tossed six no-hit innings with the Twins on March 31, 2018.
Gibson didn’t face the Orioles this season and hasn't experienced the benefits of the new dimensions in left field.
The Orioles were busy yesterday while claiming first baseman Lewin Díaz off waivers from the Pirates and signing first baseman/outfielder Franchy Cordero to a minor league contract.