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OC Register: Angels Offseason Options: Kyle Gibson


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(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

KYLE GIBSON, RHP, Minnesota Twins

The basics: Gibson has been one of the mainstays of the Twins rotations in recent years, bouncing between pitching like a No. 2 or 3 to a No. 5. He has been durable, though. He’ll be 31 next season.

2018 season: Gibson had his best season, posting a 3.62 ERA in 32 starts, over 196-2/3 innings.

Contract status: Gibson has one more year of arbitration before free agency. He is due to earn about $8 million in 2019.

Why he makes sense: Although Gibson has been somewhat inconsistent throughout his career, he’s taken the ball. Over his five full seasons, he’s averaged 30 starts and 175 innings. He’s now been surpassed by José Berrios as the leader of the Twins rotation, and the Twins are down to his final year, so they might choose to sell high on him and get something before risking losing him to free agency. Because he’s got just one year left and has a spotty history, he wouldn’t cost as much in prospect capital as one of the premium pitchers on the trade market. Gibson is also a pitch-to-contact guy, so maybe he does even better with the Angels’ exceptional defense behind him. If he fares in his walk year as well as he did in 2018, the Angels would have a solid right-handed starter to go alongside Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney, and in front of Jaime Barría, Matt Shoemaker, Felix Peña, etc. And even if he’s more of a mid-rotation inning-eater, that’s still worth his relatively modest salary.

Why he doesn’t: Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn were examples of pitchers on whom the Angels could buy low, hoping for bounce-back seasons. Gibson is the opposite. He had back-to-back seasons with an ERA over 5.00 in 2016 and 2017. His career ERA is 4.47. Although the innings seem like a relatively safe bet, if he reverts to the form of 2017, the Angels would be paying a lot for a fifth starter, and giving up a prospect to do it.

Previous players: C J.T. RealmutoRHP Nate EovaldiRHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP CC Sabathia, UT Daniel Descalso, RHP Julio Teheran, LHP Gio Gonzalez, UT Marwin Gonzalez, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Will Smith, 3B Mike Moustakas, OF Jon Jay, RHP Lance Lynn.

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