Phillies acquire Kyle Gibson, Ian Kennedy and Hans Crouse from Rangers

The Phillies have acquired right-handed pitchers Kyle Gibson, Ian Kennedy and Hans Crouse along with cash considerations from the Texas Rangers in exchange for right-handed pitchers Spencer Howard, Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner, President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski announced today.

 

Gibson, 33, is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 94 strikeouts and just nine home runs allowed in 113.0 innings over 19 starts. A first-time All-Star in 2021, he has held opponents to a .224/.300/.326 slash line this season and 13 of his 19 starts have been quality starts. From April 7 (his second start of the season) through July 2 (his 16th start), Gibson went 6-0 with a 1.51 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. He pitched at least 5.0 innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each of those 15 starts and went at least 6.0 innings with two runs or fewer in 11 of them.

 

Gibson ranks third among all qualifying American League pitchers in ERA this season, behind only Chicago’s Lance Lynn (1.91) and Carlos Rodon (2.49). He is second in the AL in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings pitched (0.72), tied for third in the AL in quality starts and fourth in opponents’ OPS (.626). The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder also ranks third in the AL and seventh in baseball in ground ball rate (50.8%) and his home run to fly ball rate (9.9%) is the fifth-lowest among AL pitchers.

 

A veteran of nine major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2013-19) and Rangers (2020-21), Gibson made 29 or more starts in five of six seasons from 2014 (his first full season) to 2019, and his 12 starts during the shortened 2020 season were tied for second-most in the AL. Since 2014, he leads all AL pitchers in innings pitched (1,216.1) and starts (209) and is fourth in baseball in starts behind only Max Scherzer (222), Zack Greinke (221) and Jon Lester (219). Gibson, an Indiana native, was selected by the Twins in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2009 MLB Draft. He was originally selected by the Phillies in the 36th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, but did not sign.

 

The 36-year-old Kennedy has a 2.51 ERA, 16 saves in 17 chances, a 1.05 WHIP and 35 strikeouts to seven walks in 32.1 innings over 32 relief appearances this season. Opponents are batting .227 with a .656 OPS against him. In his 17 save opportunities, Kennedy has allowed only two extra-base hits, four walks and 17 baserunners overall, posting a 0.98 WHIP. His 94.1% save percentage is the fourth-best among all qualifying pitchers, and is second to only Houston’s Ryan Pressly (94.7%) in the AL. Overall, his 16 saves are tied for sixth in the AL.

 

Kennedy made 289 starts and two relief appearances from 2007-18 with the New York Yankees (2007-09), Arizona Diamondbacks (2010-13), San Diego Padres (2013-15) and Kansas City Royals (2016-18), posting a 4.12 ERA before transitioning to a relief role. Since 2019, in 109 relief appearances and one start with Kansas City (2019-20) and Texas (2021), he has a 3.86 ERA and has converted 46 of 51 save opportunities (90.2%), the second-highest save rate in baseball among qualifying relievers.

 

Crouse, the Rangers’ No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline, went 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 54 strikeouts to 19 walks in 51.0 innings in 13 starts for double-A Frisco this season. He allowed only 27 hits, holding opponents to a .157 AVG, the third-lowest among all double-A pitchers with as many or more starts. The 22-year-old is 14-6 with a 3.29 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 213.1 innings in 55 games (51 starts) across four minor league seasons. He was a second-round selection by Texas in the 2017 MLB Draft.

 

Howard, 25, posted a 5.72 ERA in 11 games (7 starts) with the Phillies in 2021, and is 1-4 with a 5.81 ERA, 27 walks and 54 strikeouts in 52.2 innings in 17 career games (13 starts) after debuting with the club in 2020. The California native was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the June 2017 MLB Draft.

 

Gowdy had a 4.43 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) with single-A Jersey Shore this season. The 23-year-old, a second-round selection by Philadelphia in the 2016 MLB Draft, is 4-12 with a 4.53 ERA in 42 games (32 starts) over three minor league seasons. He was injured and did not pitch from 2017-18.

 

Gessner, a 21-year-old Australia native, had a 1.17 ERA in three games (2 starts) in the rookie-level Florida Complex League. In nine games (5 starts) in the Phillies’ system, he posted a 2.21 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. Gessner previously pitched briefly for Sydney in the Australian Baseball League in 2017 before being signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in June 2019.