Unfortunately for his trade deadline prospects, scouts and rival executives across baseball feel as though the latter is true. According to FanSided’s Robert Murray, other teams across the league interested in adding starting pitching help view Gibson as the “most unpredictable element” of this year’s deadline.
The Texas Rangers are having trouble finding suitors for ace Kyle Gibson ahead of the trade deadline
Here’s what Murray was able to dig up in his latest column:
"“Those concerns have only grown louder since the All-Star break, with Gibson posting an 8.18 ERA in three starts while allowing 22 hits, 12 walks and 16 runs in 17.1 innings. His season ERA has increased from 2.29 to 2.87. His expected ERA is 3.58. His FIP sits at 3.62, nearly a full run above his actual ERA.It has raised questions whether his first half was an anomaly or if his first three outings are a blip on the radar. One concern among contenders has been that Gibson, 33, does not have overpowering stuff or the ability to consistently record strikeouts in big situations, with one team believing he would be a No. 3 or 4 starter on a playoff rotation.”"
It’s true that Gibson has struggled mightily since tossing a scoreless inning in the 2021 All-Star Game, but with that aforementioned FIP figure sitting at 3.62, we all had to know inevitable regression was on the way.
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It’s also true that Gibby doesn’t have swing and miss stuff, as he’s averaging just 7.5 K/9 in 2021, a vastly lower rate compared to most pitchers in baseball in a strikeout era. And would he even start on a playoff rotation for some teams? That’s a viable question for some teams. He could be more useful as a reliever.
Perhaps the element that could make Gibson even less attractive (ironically) at the deadline is his extra year of club control. Signed through the end of 2022, it’s not guaranteed the 33-year-old can repeat what has been a solid effort in 2021 even if he’d be playing on a more than affordable $9 million salary.
With teams seemingly focused on deadline rentals this season, the extra year might hurt Gibson’s value.
One silver lining from all of this? Murray does believe the veteran right hander is still one of the better options out there at this year’s deadline:
"“Still, Gibson is one of the top starting pitchers available and the Tampa Bay Rays are among teams that have inquired about him.”"
It appears we have the reason for the lack of rumors surrounding Kyle Gibson at the trade deadline to this point. But there should still be optimism that he gets dealt as one of the better options for teams heading down to the wire.