The Phillies and Texas Rangers have agreed to a six-player trade that will send right-handers Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy to Philadelphia, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Right-hander Spencer Howard and two other prospects will head to Texas, and Philadelphia will also land prospect Hans Crouse, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
Gibson and Kennedy were both among our top 21 trade candidates. Here's what we wrote about Gibson ahead of the deadline:
Who would've thought? Kyle Gibson had an abysmal Opening Day start, in which he allowed five runs while recording a single out. He's since reeled off a 16-start stretch that has seen him post a 1.86 ERA and record more strikeouts (87) than hits allowed (74) in 101 innings. Gibson's low-90s sinker is his primary pitch, but the breadwinner of his arsenal is a slider with a 44 percent swing-and-miss rate. He has one season, valued at less than $8 million, remaining on his contract, so the Texas Rangers would be right to ask for a ton.
Gibson should slide into the Philadelphia rotation without much issue. Coming into Friday, the Phillies had just one starter with an ERA+ over 100: Zack Wheeler. Meanwhile, the Phillies had given at least five starts to four pitchers with ERA+ under 75: Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore, Chase Anderson, and Spencer Howard. Earlier this week, the Phillies had a deal for Tyler Anderson fall through. Anderson was subsequently dealt to the Seattle Mariners.
As for Kennedy, he should slot in somewhere near the back of the Phillies bullpen. Here's what we wrote:
Did you know that Ian Kennedy has accumulated the fifth-most Wins Above Replacement among 2006 first-round picks? That's behind only Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Evan Longoria, and Tim Lincecum. (For the political buffs out there, it's also far, far more than what Brad Lincoln mustered.) Kennedy doesn't fit in with that group of superstars, but he deserves flowers for having reinvented himself once again, this time into a fastball-slinging closer. He's one of six pitchers to use his heat more than 80 percent of the time. Kennedy gets away with it because of his command, his deep release point (relative to his height), and his flat approach angle.
The Phillies entered Friday with a 51-51 record on the season, placing them 3 1/2 games back in the National League East. They're also 7 1/2 games back in the wild card race.