2. Kyle Gibson
It might feel like Kyle Gibson is one of those fraudulent deadline targets who’s tricking everyone since this is shaping up to be easily his best MLB season in his entire nine-year career, but he’s always had the “stuff” to project as a rock solid No. 2 or 3 option. Now, he’s putting it all together.
Across his first 10 starts, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 60.1 innings of work. He’s giving the Rangers length and induces a ton of grounders with his six-pitch mix (sinker, slider, curveball, changeup, four-seamer and cutter).
OK, you might look at his 3.22 FIP and say, “well, that’s nearly a run higher than his ERA,” but then we’d tell you to look at his ridiculous 190 ERA+ in addition to the fact that he’s missing barrels (4.1% rate), getting batters to chase (65th percentile), and is in the 77th percentile for xwOBA, xERA and xSLG.
Aside from getting ripped by the Royals in his first start of the year, Gibson has yet to throw fewer than six innings in a start and has delivered quality outings in his other nine trips to the mound against the Astros (twice), Giants, Twins, White Sox, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles and Rays. Those are some of the best offenses in the league. His first two months have been no joke.
He’s making $9.6 million this year and will earn $7.6 million in 2022 before hitting free agency. There will obviously be demand for him before July 31, but if other names such as Max Scherzer become available, perhaps the Yankees can swoop in without giving up an arm and a leg for Gibson.