HomeMLB RumorsCardinals Sign Kyle Gibson To One-Year Deal

Cardinals Sign Kyle Gibson To One-Year Deal

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2:32 pm: The Cards have made it official, announced they signed Gibson to a one-year deal with a club option for 2025.

1:45 pm: The Cardinals and right-hander Kyle Gibson are in agreement on a deal, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It’s one year plus a 2025 option, per Nightengale, with Jesse Rogers of ESPN adding that Gibson will make $12MM. The value of the option has not been publicly reported. The righty is a client of Rowley Sports Management.

Gibson, 36, spent 2023 with the Orioles on a one-year, $10MM deal. He took the ball 33 times for the O’s and logged 192 innings with an earned run average of 4.73. It’s possible that he deserved better results than that, as his 69.7% strand rate was a bit below average. He struck out just 19.5% of batters faced but limited walks to a 6.8% clip and kept 48.9% of balls in play on the ground. His 4.13 FIP and 4.40 SIERA paint a slightly more flattering portrait than his ERA.

Since as far back as August, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has been open about the club’s desire to add three starters to the rotation. That was in order to replace the departures of Adam Wainwright, who is now retired, and Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery, who were traded at the deadline and are now free agents. There’s also some uncertainty with the in-house options, as Steven Matz has dealt with injuries and inconsistency of late while depth option Dakota Hudson was non-tendered last week when the club failed to find a trade for him. All that left Miles Mikolas and a heap of questions as the on-paper rotation.

But that was prior to this week. The Cards added another veteran innings eater yesterday, agreeing with Lance Lynn on a one-year deal. Between Lynn and now Gibson, it seems the club is starting out by building a foundation of reliability, more floor than ceiling. In each of the past nine full seasons, Gibson has made at least 25 starts, with 2016 being the only one of those seasons where he didn’t get to 29. He also made 12 starts in the shortened 2020 campaign. He’s only been on the injured list three times since his major league debut, dealing with a right shoulder strain in 2016, ulcerative colitis in 2019 and then a right groin strain in 2021. It’s a fairly similar situation with Lynn. He had knee surgery in 2022 and was limited to 21 starts, but apart from that, he’s made at least 28 starts in each full season dating back to 2012.

Lynn is coming off a down year, having allowed 44 home runs, leading to an ERA of 5.73. However, it’s possible that was a one-year blip, as he had a mark of 3.99 the year before, 2.69 in 2021 and 3.74 for his career. Gibson’s career ERA is 4.54 and he’s never been better than 3.62 in a single season, but as mentioned, his ability to take the mound every five days is quite strong. His 1,645 innings pitched dating back to 2014 are the fourth-most in baseball, trailing only Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke.

Since the offseason began, the Cards have been connected to some of the top free agent arms available, such as Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Some fans may be disappointed by the additions of Lynn and Gibson on one-year deals but there’s nothing to indicate the door to a blockbuster has been closed by these moves. Gray and Yamamoto are still out there, as are plenty of other impactful starters. The Cards, meanwhile, should still have the money and opportunity for another pitcher.

The 2024 payroll is now set to be about $170MM, per Roster Resource, though some trades could perhaps drop that down a bit. The club is expected to look into moving a position player such as Tyler O’Neill, who has a projected salary of $5.5MM, or perhaps Dylan Carlson and his $1.8MM projection. Their franchise high payroll was last year’s $177MM, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, but it’s possible they will give themselves a bit more wiggle room in order to get over their lackluster 2023 season.

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