Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today formally announced the signing of free agent right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson to a three-year contract covering the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 32-year-old veteran compiled a 13-7 record with a 4.84 ERA and 1.444 WHIP figure over 34 games/29 starts for the American League Central Division champion Minnesota Twins in 2019. Gibson posted career bests last year in strikeouts per 9 innings (9.00), strikeouts per walk (2.86), and swing-and-miss percentage (29.5%), and his 3.15 walks per 9 innings was lowest since 2015 (3.01). He was on the 10-day injured list from August 31-September 9 due to an ulcerative colitis condition that would limit him for the duration of the campaign. His lone appearance in the Twins’ loss to the Yankees in the American League Division Series came in Game 4 at New York.
Gibson’s 52.9 groundball percentage ranked sixth in MLB among pitchers with at least 150.0 innings pitched in 2019, trailing only Oakland’s Brett Anderson (55.5%) in the A.L. in that category. He owns a 52.6 groundball percentage over his six full Major League seasons beginning 2014, the seventh-best figure among MLB pitchers over that span (min. 600.0 IP). His 136 groundball double plays induced since the start of 2014 are the most of any MLB pitcher.
Gibson has recorded six consecutive seasons of 25-or-more starts, one of only 12 Major League pitchers to accomplish that feat, including just four American League starters to pull the trick each season from 2014-19: Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Rick Porcello, and Chris Sale. His 356.2 innings in 2018-19 rank tied for 10th in the American League, joining a pair of new teammates on that list: Mike Minor (7th, 365.1) and Lance Lynn (8th, 365.0). According to Fangraphs, Gibson has a total Wins Above Replacement (WAR) figure of 5.2 over the past two seasons, 14th-best among American League pitchers, also behind a group that includes Lynn (3rd, 9.5) and Minor (10th, 6.7).
The six-foot, six-inch, 215-pound native of Greenfield, Ind., was originally selected by the Twins in the first round of the 2009 June draft out of the University of Missouri. Gibson has spent his entire 10-year professional career in the Minnesota organization. The Twins’ nominee for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award, he was previously selected for the club’s Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award in 2017, and earned the team’s 2018 Mike Augustin “Media Good Guy” Award.
Following the signing of Gibson, the Rangers now have 39 players on the Major League roster.