Rangers Trade Gibson, Kennedy to Phillies

Texas will receive RHP Spencer Howard and two other players in the deal

Kyle Gibson #44 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers dealt pitchers Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy to the Philadelphia Phillies in a deadline trade Friday in exchange for rookie right-hander Spencer Howard and two other pitching prospects.

Texas also sent pitching prospect Hans Crouse, a second-round draft pick four years ago, and cash to the Phillies. Howard (0-2, 5.72 ERA), who was Philadelphia's second-round pick in 2017, is going to Texas with right-handers Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessne.

Gibson (6-3, 2.87 ERA) was a first-time All-Star this season, but the 33-year-old right-hander lost his last three starts for Texas. Kennedy had 16 saves in 17 opportunities for the last-place Rangers, and the 36-year-old right-hander hasn't issued a walk in his last 11 appearances, a span of 45 batters dating to June 4.

Philadelphia went into Friday night's game at Pittsburgh with a 51-51 record. The Phillies were second in the NL East, 3 1/2 games behind the New York Mets.

Gibson is still owed about $3.6 million of his $10 million salary for this season, and is signed for $7 million in 2022. There is about $762,000 remaining on Kennedy's $2.2 million salary, and the former big league starter will be a free agent at the end of this season, his 15th in the majors.

Since his big league debut with Minnesota in 2013, Gibson has a 75-77 career record with a 4.42 ERA in 224 games (219 starts). He has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) with 13 strikeouts and 12 walks over 17 1/3 innings in his last three starts.

His career-high eight walks last Saturday in Houston were the most by a Rangers pitcher since 2003, but he still got a quality start by allowing only three runs (two earned) over six innings in the 4-1 loss. His 13 quality starts were only one less than New York Yankees ace Gerritt Cole and Toronto's Robbie Ray, who have the most among AL pitchers.

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Kennedy has a 97-105 record with a 4.10 ERA in 401 career games (290 starts). He went 21-4 and led the National League in wins for Arizona in 2011, and followed that up with a 15-win season for the Diamondbacks. His last season in a rotation was 2017, when he went 5-13 in 30 starts for Kansas City before transitioning to the bullpen his last two years there.

Kennedy struck out two in a perfect ninth inning for a save in a 5-4 win at home over Arizona on Tuesday night. His final appearance for the Rangers came on the same night that All-Star slugger Joey Gallo hit the go-ahead homer and had two outfield assists in what also was his last game for them before getting traded to the New York Yankees.

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