Reports: Phillies Acquiring Rangers Starter and Closer
The Phillies had been trade-less in major league deals one hour before the 4:00 p.m. Eastern MLB Trade Deadline. The Phillies were looking for starting help and relief help. The Phillies are reportedly close to pulling off a deal that will land them both.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first to report the Phillies are acquiring Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson and closer Ian Kennedy.
ESPN's MLB Insider Jeff Passan reports the details of the deal involves Phillies Pitcher Spencer Howard going to Texas along with two prospects:
Phillies also sending Kevin Gowdy to Texas; he was a Second Round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by Philadelphia. Gowdy has a 4.43 ERA in 12 Starts at A+ Level of the Minor Leagues this year.
Howard appears unlikely to help the Phillies on the short-term, but at 25 years old certainly still has some promise. Hans Crouse is Rangers Number Seven ranked prospect according to MLB.com and this is their recent analysis of him:
Though the Rangers plan on developing Crouse as a starter, there are evaluators who believe his delivery and high-energy approach ultimately will fit best in a late-inning bullpen role. The 2017 second-rounder from a California high school definitely has closer-worthy stuff with a riding fastball that reaches 99 mph and a wipeout slider with mid-80s velocity and two-plane break.
More details on what into Phillies making this deal happen:
Gibson signed a three-year, $28 million contract with the Rangers prior to the 2020 season. The contract was front-loaded, meaning the cash out the door will be $7 million in 2022. The average annual value against the Competitive Balance Tax will be $9.333 million.
Gibson is 6-3 with a 2.87 earned run average for the Rangers in 2021. The Rangers Opening Day starter allowed five earned runs while getting just one out in his first start, and has been stellar since. Gibson has averaged just under six full innings per start this season.
Kennedy re-invented himself in 2021 as the Rangers closer. Now 36 years old, Kennedy is 0-0 with a 2.51 earned run average with the Rangers. He has 16 saves in 32 appearances.
MLB Trade Deadline is today at 4pm EST