The Boston Red Sox are running out of options on the starting-pitching market.
Still, there’s a notable name worth considering with the Major League Baseball trade deadline looming: Texas Rangers right-hander Kyle Gibson.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays already reeled in the biggest fish in the starter pond, reportedly acquiring Max Scherzer and José Berríos from the Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins, respectively. Thus, the attention shifts elsewhere, with Gibson being a viable backup plan thanks to both his strong performance this season and a palatable contract, which runs through 2022.
MLB insider Jon Morosi reported Friday morning (after the Scherzer trade but before the Berríos deal), citing a source, that Gibson was being discussed with multiple teams, including the Red Sox.
Obviously, we don’t know the exact nature of those discussions or how interested Boston is in the 33-year-old, but it’s definitely a situation to monitor as the Red Sox look for upgrades before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Boston already boosted its offense Thursday night by acquiring Kyle Schwarber from Washington as the Nationals enter a full-blown rebuild. And Gibson, another 2021 All-Star, would give the Red Sox additional rotation depth. He owns a 2.87 ERA through 19 starts with Texas this season.
Now, it’s OK to be skeptical of Gibson, who owned a 4.57 ERA in 205 career appearances (200 starts) before this season. He basically produced like a back-end starter for eight seasons until this year’s breakout, and some underlying numbers — including a 3.75 WHIP, a 4.46 SIERA and a below-average strikeout rate — suggest regression could be on the horizon.
That said, he’s controlled through next season (with a reasonable $7 million salary for 2022) and boasts an elite ground-ball rate (50.8%) that ranks seventh among all qualified MLB starters. Assuming the cost of acquisition isn’t too high, due to Gibson’s limited track record of top-level production, one certainly could do worse than adding him to the mix.