The Orioles were expected to find a new Opening Day starter in 2024, whether from outside the organization or by choosing one of their returnees.
Now, they’re assured of doing it.
Kyle Gibson reached agreement today on a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals that includes an option for 2025, per a report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, with multiple outlets confirming.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers first reported that Gibson will receive $12 million next season.
It’s an ideal landing spot for Gibson, who lives in the St. Louis area and attended the University of Missouri. He follows the Cardinals’ agreement yesterday with veteran Lance Lynn to a one-year deal plus an option for a guaranteed $11 million.
Gibson signed with the Orioles for $10 million, the largest free-agent contract handed out by executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias. He made 33 starts and logged 192 innings to lead the club and went 15-9, also ranking first in wins, with a 4.73 ERA and 1.318 WHIP.
The 198 hits allowed also were the most on the staff, but the Orioles had no complaints about their return for signing Gibson, who also provided valuable clubhouse leadership similar to Jordan Lyles the previous summer. His influence was praised in every corner and in the manager’s office.
Gibson’s popularity was highlighted again after he missed the clinching celebration for winning the division due to a family matter. Teammates placed a commemorative bottle of champagne and corks in his locker and embraced him after he returned a few days later.
The off-the-field contributions most define Gibson, a three-time nominee with three different teams for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.
This year, Gibson launched his #ALLWIN digital fundraising campaign, with every strikeout enabling him to feed families in need with a donation to the Maryland Food Bank that in early September totaled nearly $14,000. Each Orioles victory enabled Gibson to provide life-saving resources to women escaping domestic violence with a donation to House of Ruth Maryland.
Gibson hosted two charity events in the Baltimore community in August. Swinging for Impact was a tournament at Top Golf that benefitted City of Refuge Baltimore, a faith-based organization that helps individuals and families transition out of crisis. He’s hosted the event three times in a different city.
Later in the month, Gibson launched a fantasy football league where fans made donations to compete with various Orioles players, with proceeds benefiting Help One Now.
All of this is on top of his many endeavors before joining the Orioles. I wrote about it here in spring training.
To sum it up, the Cardinals are getting a starter who can help them multiple ways next season, and a person of the highest quality.
Update: The Cardinals announced the deal.