With the Pittsburgh Pirates needing to add starting pitching help this offseason, veteran righty Kyle Gibson could be a target in free agency
Entering the offseason, general manager Ben Cherington has plenty of holes that he will need to address on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster. This tends to be the case when a team is coming off a 100 loss season.
One area that the Pittsburgh Pirates will need to address and add to this offseason is the starting rotation. While Roansy Contreras, Mitch Keller, and Johan Oviedo should give them a quality trio to build the rotation around, they still need to add to it. One potential free agent target could be veteran Kyle Gibson.
Gibson is coming off a season he split between the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. Between the two clubs Gibson made 31 starts, positing a 5.05 ERA and a 4.28 FIP in 167.2 innings pitched. He walked 6.7% of batters faced, struck out 20.1% of opponents, and allowed 24 home runs (1.29 HR/9). Gibson has also made one postseason appearance for the Phillies, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS.
The 35-year-old Gibson has made 267 career MLB appearances, 261 of which have been starts. He’s pitched 1504 innings in his career, posting a 4.52 ERA and a 4.29 FIP. Gibson owns a career walked rate of 8.3%, strikeout rate of 18.6%, and he’s allowed home runs at a 1.08 HR/9 rate.
During the 2023 season the Pirates will be hoping to see some of their young arms solidify rotation spots. Luis Ortiz already put a foot toward that this past September, and top prospects Quinn Priester and Mike Burrows should both graduate to the majors next season.
Until young pitchers like this are ready to lockdown MLB rotation spots the Pirates need to find pitchers to fill those rotation spots. Additionally, as promising as those pitchers look it is no guarantee they will be ready for the majors this season or pan out. Adding a veteran like Gibson also adds some insurance in case that were to happen.
Gibson is a pitcher the Pittsburgh Pirates could likely acquire at a reasonable price. Gibson would likely demand a one-year deal, which is what the Pirates would likely look for as well. Add in Gibson’s veteran presence and ability to take the ball every five days to help eat innings, and he could be a perfect free agent match with the Pirates.