The Pirates Are Reportedly Interested in RHP Kyle Gibson

According to Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Pirates have interest in free agent right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson. Biertempfel notes that the two sides have recently had talks. Both Jon Heyman (LINK) and Robert Murray (Around the 23:00 mark) have confirmed the rumors of interest between the two sides.

The 35-year-old Gibson has ten seasons of big league experience, playing with the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and most recently, the Philadelphia Phillies. He had a 5.05 ERA in 167.2 innings over 31 starts this season, with a 4.28 FIP, a 1.34 WHIP and a 144:48 SO/BB ratio. He tied a career high with 24 home runs allowed this year. The Phillies went to the World Series and Gibson moved to the bullpen, where he saw action in two games, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.

Gibson was an All-Star for the only time in 2021, while tying his career high with 3.5 WAR. The season had a drastic split, as he had a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts with the Rangers, then posted a 5.09 ERA in 69 innings with the Phillies after being acquired as part of a six-player trade.

Gibson has pitched a little better over the life of his career, posting a 4.52 ERA in 1,504 innings, with a 4.29 FIP, a 1.38 WHIP and 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He has made at least 25 starts in every full season in the majors.

The Pirates have noted that they would like to add to their starting rotation this off-season and this would give them a solid reliable starter, who will take the ball every five days.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Mblee24

What’s everyone’s thought on Mike Zunino for catcher? He had a terrible season last year. But he hit 33 HRs in 2021. I wonder if he’d take a 1 year $8M or something like that.

Danatural08

Would love it, have liked Zunino all the way back to his Florida days. Surprised how good he became defensively, as he was seen more for his offensive abilities coming out in the draft

jimmyz

I’d take any of Zunino, Tucker Barnhart, Jorge Alfaro or Austin Hedges over the 50 or so games they would get from bringing back Roberto Perez.

NMR

We just saw a 39 yo Cy Young and a 35 yo MVP.

Analytic zeitgeist has turned old dudes on short deals into a market inefficiency. Dudes in their 20s will continue getting chances in pursuit of low-probability upside, dudes in their 30s don’t get work unless they produce. Actually contribute to winning baseball games. I could get comfortable with this.

Catch_22

I’m sure others are dealing with the ads, but is this what we’ll have to deal with moving forward?

“Bare Photos of Lily ATT”

jimmyz

I’ve always liked Gibson’s consistency. Never gonna be getting CY Young votes but also never going to be the problem in filling out a team’s rotation. There’s no real hope of landing a true #1 or #2 type pitcher in free agency for this team so taking a shot at some stability to hedge against the volatility involved with all the young guys currently slated to start seems like a good bet. The real pitching side issue is the bullpen though and that requires a lot more work and resources to fix.

skliesen

A seasoned vet with a long history of good health and solid performance. Sign me up. Given he’s coming off playing in WS last year is a big plus in my eyes, too. We need players with experience of building a winning culture in clubhouse.

RAS TN

The questions are: Is he really all that better than what the Pirates have??? Is this going to be another 1-year contract? Most importantly, what happened with Play the Kids…

Appears to me if this happens it is just another attempt at appeasing the fans and not really an effort to make the Pirates better…How does a 35year old pitcher make the Pirates better?

skliesen

Isn’t DeGrom 35? Pretty sure he’d make the Pirates better.

Have you ever heard of veteran leadership? Been a part of most championship teams in every sport forever and ever.

roberto

In the 75 innings that he’s likely to pitch, he’ll be wonderful. But . . .

Catch_22

Wut fucking kidz?

Is Quinn ready? Is Burrows? The answer is no. They’re not ready.

You guys and da kidz are pathetic. The actual kids that play for the Pirates are begging the GM via the media to add actual real veterans to help them.

yes, a rotation piece that was just shy of 2 fWAR makes the Pirates better. Add another and they have a competent rotation.

bradlej31

He’d be another pitcher akin to Keller or JT. Consistent. Decent. More of a solution than a problem. We need more of them. Plan on 6 starters… and Burrows and Priester coming up midseason/injury.

Keller, FA, Roansy, FA, JT, Ortiz etc

Anthony

It’s pretty obvious that this front office is relying on expected outcomes rather than actual outcomes, and I’m totally onboard with that strategy as process SHOULD NOT be evaluated on results but rather on probabilities. It also helps that the market currently appears to undervalue those players.

b mcferren

i saw a comparison to the Matt Morris trade the other day but isn´t this more like the 2002/2003 offseason? when then spent all that money on Reggie Sanders, Kenny Lofton, Jeff Suppan, Pookie Reese, Matt Stairs, Julian Tavarez, Jeff Reboulet, Jeff D’Amico, Brian Boehringer and Mike Williams

they ended up dumping everyone at the deadline that year and trading Aramis and Giles too

agent00

one of my favorite all time pirates teams, so i’d be okay with this!

Tim Williams

Fun fact: I was a freshman in college, an Orioles fan, coming back to my dorm room watching Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders hit home runs for the Pirates.

I followed the Pirates at the time like I follow the Rays now. I started following them more after this. Especially after they added Oliver Perez. He was my favorite player to watch.

I’m not sure this site would exist without those 2003 signings. They raised my interest in the team. It felt fresh and new that the Pirates had name recognition players. Especially Lofton, since I always watched the Cubs on WGN.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that without those moves — like if the Pirates just tanked with Chad Hermansen — I don’t think this site would exist today. Or, the prospect site covering the Pirates would be run by someone else. Those moves drew me in.

I wonder what fans are being drawn in by Santana and rumors of Gibson?

Some dumb 20 year old college student who will put me out of business in a decade, for sure.

agent00

that is a fun fact. i’m glad that team resonated with someone other than me!

jimmyz

Lofton was up there with Griffey, Roberto Alomar, and Wade Boggs as one of my favorite non Pirates or Rangers players as a kid growing up in the nineties. The Rangers were my adopted second team as kid cuz I had an irrational love of Juan “long gone”zalez. Lofton could impact a game in a multitude of ways and always seemed to be a consummate professional day in and day out. Really glad to have been able to see him play daily as opposed to whenever Cleveland was in a nationally televised game even if it was only half a year or so.

bianco599

Chris Sabo was my favorite non Pirate for a few years. I also had Rickey Henderson Mizuno batting gloves in my little league days. But knowing Chico Lind could jump over a grown man standing up and Van Slyke in general made it tough to like a non Bucco for this dude.

Danatural08

Those batting gloves were fire! Guessing you were also born in the early 80’s days.

This nostalgia has me longing for the days of collecting Panini stickers for filing the mlb Panini book

bianco599

October 1979. Wish I could say I remember seeing them win the Series. I always liked the Panini hockey book. Imagine how angry people would be if Raf Belliard was manning SS these days. Dude had 2 career HR’s in 17 seasons. Hit 221 lifetime. But man he could field. I wonder who the heck gave up HR’s to him.

jimmyz

How could I forget about Rickey! Early 90s baseball in general and the bucs specifically were fun. I chose Bobby Bo as my favorite. My two older brothers were big on Van Slyke and Bonds so I went with the thump in the lineup.

Catch_22

Was Matt Lawton part of that ’03 team?

Tim Williams

Lawton was 2005. He was part of the Jason Kendall trade return.

NMR

agent00

pitching was suspect but that lineup was hella cool. i loved watching lofton and sanders. i was quite sad when they were traded.

Catch_22

Toby! hahaha

bianco599

I liked Pokey and his tilted cap. Reboulet had a sweet stache at one point. Stairs looked a a pub league softball player. Aram trade for bobby hill and whatever broke my young heart.

jaygray007

It was sure nice rooting for Reggie Sanders and Kenny Lofton though. They played really well, if memory serves. I was just 12 though so i certainly wasnt following with much nuance.

JasonR33

Feels like that was one of the years we owned April and the rest of the season was sadness. Too lazy to look it up.

roberto

The Bucs had violated the MLB debt rules, so they had to make stupid trades. (All the other teams knew this.)

jaygray007

Bring me Gibson
And then Heaney
And then a catcher and a right handed player who can do some DH and OF (premium option is Haniger. Some clearance section options are Cutch and Pollock)

bradlej31

Santana is a switch hitter.

jaygray007

yes but this doesnt impact what i said

jaygray007

I think suwinski and mitchell could use a righty with some pop to spell them, and also, i envision a system where Santana plays 1b vs lefties, opening up DH for a righty.

I also envision a system where maybe mitchell is allowed to marinate in AAA and not be depended upon on day 1.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
roberto

And Mitchell really needs to hit to play MLB. He has no obvious position at present.

Catch_22

 i envision a system where Santana plays 1b vs lefties, opening up DH for a righty.

I think you’re correct on this as they don’t want Choi starting vs lefties. Right now, it’s Andujar…I know, I know, he doesn’t hit lefties well, but he hits them much better than Choi and is at least close to league ave, with an OPS over .700 and his big year in ’18 he was over .800 vs lefties. That said, they’re not going to use DH for a righty. Makes no sense at all with Choi and a payroll that will more than likely be south of 70M. Choi is your DH 70% of the time, it’s why they traded for him. He gets on base at a high clip and is an above average hitter.

I’m still on board with a Cutch farewell tour where he can spell Jack or Cal vs lefties.

TNBucs

Yeah, Gibson and one of the lefties (Heaney, Manaea, Quintana) and I’d feel good about the rotation. Even with just one of those additions, I’d feel fine about the rotation, but it would require more faith in Ortiz and Oviedo.

Gibson seems to make a lot of sense, as John outlines. He also overlapped with Shelton in Minnesota so there would be a level of comfort there.

PirateRican21

I rather see a good lefty reliever that could close in a pinch than a RH hitting outfielder. Andrew Chafin is my prefer choice, Taylor Rodgers is out of reach, but there are others

jaygray007

the nice thing is that they can do both!

Mblee24

I really like Strahm. I think he could be affordable as well. If they have an off-season of adding Choi, Santana, Gibson, Heaney, Strahm, an average catcher, and all the minor moves they will make. I would be satisfied and I would expect with decent managing they could win 75-82 games.

jaygray007

Adding Gibson, Heaney, Strahm, and a C will probably cost, what, 8+12+5+3 million dollars? 28ish?

gets them to about 80 mil total.

Man, just adding a 10 million dollar RF like Haniger to get to 90 would really just solidify that offseason for me. It’d create as deep and exciting a team as we’ve seen in a long time.

Mblee24

I actually would really like if they signed Gibson and Heaney. I wouldn’t mind 2/3 year deals for at least on of them either. They still will need to add to the bullpen and I’d love for Cutch to come back as DH/4th outfielder. Then pick up a catcher who can at least hit 200 haha.

jeffw3000

A lefty flyball pitcher like Heaney could be interesting in PNC with the big leftfield. A lot of those flyballs could be outs in PNC, so I would find him interesting, and think that he might do better in PNC than he has done in the past.. The big knock on Heaney is he is always getting injured, and missing time.

Not sure how I feel about Gibson. He has always been a groundball pitcher, but not as much this year. His velocity was also down this year. I would not be totally against bringing him, but I do worry his issues are age related. If they could get him back to the groundball pitcher he has always been, he could be interesting. If they can get him back to being that groundball pitcher he has been in the past, he could do well in PNC. If not, a righty like him, could get torched in PNC. One thing is for sure. I would not sign either of them to more than 1 year though. They are both too risky for that.

jaygray007

Yeah obviously Heaney’s durability is an issue. But, if his durability wasn’t an issue, he’d be getting a Rodon contract. Unfortunately this team has to take on guys with warts and then hopefully fix that wart. in theory, the lack of durability is built into the price.

Mblee24

I completely agree. A guy like Heaney for 2 or 3 years is worth it. He could be a really good guy here but he could also miss two of the three seasons. I think they can get him cheap enough where the risk is worth the reward.

jaygray007

Assuming that ERA last year was a bit unlucky (and most peripherals indicate it was unlucky), I’m in. The fewer starts made by Bryse Wilson and Zach Thompson, the better. Im sure their peripherals matched their bad ERAs. It’s the same as the 1b situation. They were so bad last year that just getting an average player there instead represents a significant upgrade.

I’d love a situation where they add one or two guys and then have 3-4 legitimate prospects ready in AAA. That’s what good teams look like. Teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers last yr ran like 10 decent starters deep.

jaygray007

Fun fact: bryse Wilson and Zach wilson combined for 42 starts last yr.

That’s a lot of bad starts

PirateRican21

b mcferren

dude does throw a lot of innings

PiratePrimate

Would be much happier if I heard they were in talks with Manaea, Quintana or Haney but they’ll cost more than Nickles wants to pay. The Pirates made a deal with the oldest FA 1B, no reason why they wouldn’t try to buy an inexpensive starter. I guess if we see them as player/coaches maybe a trio of guys on their last legs might help a team of youngsters.

Anthony

We’ve never really “heard” much when it comes to the Pirates and FA’s, but that second sentence makes absolutely no sense.

roberto

Didn’t see this coming.

Wilbur Miller

Gibson’s 2022 season was probably better than the ERA looks. His xFIP was 3.94.

bradlej31

BABIP was high. Their D isn’t the best either.

roberto

Was there a team with worse D?

AdministrativeSky236

Even if his ERA is in the low 4s, would do a lot to stabilize the pitching staff to have that sort of anchor. Anything that starts with a 3 makes me ecstatic

Wilbur Miller

He’d be lower risk, lower reward than Quintana or Anderson, but with a bunch of young guys on the brink now, that probably makes sense. The upside has to come from the young guys, with a guy like Gibson there to hedge against a rotation meltdown.

AdministrativeSky236

Especially with leaning on a bunch of young guys, nothing wrong with stability and a guy that will likely keep the team in the game every 5

JimEastTennessee

I still hope to see two veteran SP as adds. Manaea seems like a good fit. Quintana, unlikely, but would be a GREAT 3 year add. (I’d bump up avg $ and try to get him for 2yr)

ArkyWags

Same. I think Gibson and Manea is a good combo. Gibson would give them some stability and I think Manea may have some upside.

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