The Twins will re-sign Kyle Gibson
Anyone who has read my work on this site knows I’m not the biggest fan of Kyle Gibson. The thing is, the Twins definitely are and with four spots open in the starting rotation, it’s unlikely that they would let everyone walk and start over with a clean slate.
The negatives for bringing Gibson back revolve around his performance from last season. His 4.84 ERA was the second-worst of his career next to a 5.07 mark in 2016 and 2017, but there are factors that the Twins might point at for positive regression.
While his ERA was ugly, Gibson actually posted a career-high in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.86) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.0). While he seemed to be timid to throw a strike at times with a career-low 34.2% pitches in the zone, hitters were also buying what he was selling, chasing at a 36% clip via FanGraphs.
The Twins could also point to Gibson’s stomach ailments throughout the season that included a battle with E. coli during spring training and ulcerative colitis in the second half. The latter turned what was a solid season (7-3, 3.70 ERA) in his first 13 starts and wound up relegating him to the bullpen in with a 5.85 ERA in his final 21 appearances (16 starts).
Gibson is one of the most liked players in the clubhouse and with the Twins unlikely to want to bring Randy Dobnak or Brusdar Graterol into the rotation at the beginning of the year, the veteran can be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter if his positives shine through. That might lead the Twins to sign Gibson to a one or two year deal as a stop-gap for the younger talent to get more seasoning.