Seattle Mariners Trade a Day- Minnesota SP Kyle Gibson
The Seattle Mariners NEED pitching help. Their ace is on the DL. As is their former ace. Marco Gonzalez is on an innings limit. Wade LeBlanc may be as well. Could Jerry Dipoto find his arm in the Twin Cities?
Everybody knows the Mariners want a starting pitcher. In fact, they need an impact arm, not just depth. Somebody who is better than Felix Hernandez. Somebody who is more reliable than Wade LeBlanc. One who can make a start in the postseason, where you feel reasonably good about your chances.
The Minnesota Twins are absolutely going to be sellers. They have a lot of guys on one-year deals. Minnesota has no money committed to their roster in 2019. They should be open to anything. Including trading their 30-year-old right-handed starter Kyle Gibson.
Gibson is enjoying a somewhat breakout season in 2018. In his first 19 starts, Gibson has posted a 3.42 ERA, 3.79 FIP, an 8.87 K/9 and a 2.0 fWAR. The strikeouts have jumped significantly in 2018. From 2014-2017 was averaging just 6.03 K/9.
The fastball velocity is up slightly. The slider is the best it’s ever been. But everything else is roughly the same. The walk rate is a bit concerning, 3.58 BB/9 but is only slightly above his career norm (3.3). Gibson is a nibbler, which can lead to inflated walk totals. He doesn’t have ungodly stuff, so he has to work the corners.
Even when Gibson wasn’t his 2018 self, he was still an okay #4 or #5 type of starter. From 2014-2017, he averaged 29 starts, 170 innings, a 52% groundball rate, a 4.56 ERA, 4.28 FIP, and a 1.41 WHIP.
Also, his HR/FB rate has is slightly above-average. Why? As a heavy groundball pitcher, the ball in the air isn’t a good sign. Gibson is averaging just 1 HR/9, so the long ball isn’t a major issue.
However, the overwhelming question that must be answered is, “what does he cost”? Could the Mariners actually obtain Kyle Gibson? Our proposal:
The Mariners trade Eric Filia and cash to the Twins for Kyle Gibson.
I am a Filia fan. He just keeps hitting wherever he plays. At some point, that is no longer a fluke. However, I am also aware of the flaws he has as a prospect. Filia is already 26-years-old, who has one tool, the hit tool. Furthermore, there is really just one position he may be able to handle in the big leagues (1B), and he might not be average there.
Gibson is a rental, and one with just 3 months of #3 starter stats to boot. The Twins will not slap a qualifying offer on Gibson, so it’s get something or nothing at all. Filia isn’t a great prospect. Yet he just keeps hitting.
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As for the Mariners, they get an upgrade over Felix Hernandez and one with a track record of eating innings. Additionally, they get at a fair price, without giving up one of their few major assets to make it happen.