Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers today acquired three players in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies:
To Texas: RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Kevin Gowdy, and RHP Josh Gessner
To Philadelphia: RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Hans Crouse and cash considerations
Howard, 25, was rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Phillies organization prior to the 2021 season, when he was also tabbed by the publication as the no. 27 prospect in baseball. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander was also rated as the no. 42 prospect in the game entering 2021 by MLB.com. He has gone 0-2 with a 5.72 ERA (18 ER/28.1 IP) over 11 games/7 starts spanning four stints with the Phillies in 2021 (April 13, April 21-25, May 22-June 28, July 21-current). He has also posted a 1-0 record and 1.25 ERA (3 ER/21.2 IP) with a 1.015 WHIP, 9 walks, and 28 strikeouts over 6 games/starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He made his Major League debut with the Phillies in 2020, making 6 starts. Originally the Phillies’ second round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, the central California native pitched at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
The 23-year-old Gowdy has spent this season with High-A Jersey Shore, going 4-5 with a 4.43 ERA (30 ER/61.0 IP) over 14 games/12 starts while averaging a career-best 9.3 strikeouts per 9 innings. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2016 draft out of Santa Barbara (Calif.) High School. He has pitched three seasons in the Phillies’ farm system, going 4-12 with a 4.53 ERA across 42 games/32 starts. Gowdy was a member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team that won a gold medal at the 2015 WBSC World Cup in Japan.
Gessner, 21, has pitched in three games (two starts) for the Florida Complex League Phillies (Rookie) this season, striking out 14 of 30 batters faced (46.7%) with a 1.17 ERA (1 ER/7.2 IP). The 6-foot-1, 210-pound right-hander has gone 1-0, 2.21 ERA (5 ER/20.2 IP) in nine games/five starts, all at the Rookie level, since signing with Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent out of Sydney, Australia on 6/11/19. Gessner, who was born in Midland, Texas, appeared in two games for the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League as a 17-year-old in 2017.
Gibson has gone 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA over 19 games/starts with Texas this season, ranking among American League leaders in home runs allowed per 9 innings (2nd, 0.72), ERA (3rd), and quality starts (3rd, 13). Selected to the A.L. All-Star team for the first time in his career this season, Gibson went 8-9 with a 3.79 ERA over 31 games/starts in 2020-21 after signing a three-year free agent contract with Texas on December 6, 2019.
Kennedy has no record with 16 saves and a 2.51 ERA over 32 relief appearances with Texas this season, along with a 1.052 WHIP figure. He has gone 16-for-17 (94.1%) in save chances this year, the 2nd-best save percentage in the American League.
Crouse has gone 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA over 13 games/starts with Double-A Frisco this season. He was the Rangers’ 2nd round selection in the 2017 June draft.