Orioles agree to terms with Gibson, plus more roster moves
The Orioles Signed a Pitcher!
After a sluggish start to free agency, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to terms with RHP Kyle Gibson to a one-year deal, pending physical. To Orioles fans, the signing may feel like a paltry consolation prize following the news of Jacob Degrom’s massive five-year/$185,000,000 deal with the Texas Rangers. However, Birdland may take solace in the fact that the team is reportedly in contact with both Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Rodón.
The 35-year-old Gibson serves as Jordan Lyles’ replacement. Lyles, who led the O’s in IP last year, had his $11 million team option declined in November. Orioles fans should expect Gibson to be a solid bottom-of-the-rotation arm who can eat innings at a similar clip to Lyles. While the financial details of the deal haven’t been released yet, it’s presumed to be less than the $11 million that Lyles would’ve commanded.
Gibson’s career has been somewhat of an enigma since his debut with the Minnesota Twins. While playing with the Texas Rangers in 2021, he managed to begin the year with a 135.00 ERA after a disastrous start against the Kansas City Royals. However, he was able to recover from the performance and ended up recording the lowest ERA of his Major League career for the rest of his time with the Rangers (2.87).
While Lyles had a better year than Gibson last season, over the course of their careers, Gibson is superior in numerous categories. For example, despite playing two fewer years, Gibson has accumulated 13.8 career bWAR to Lyles’ -1.2 bWAR. Similarly, Lyles has a worse career ERA and RA9 (Runs Allowed per nine IP) than Gibson. Given this, it’s clear that Elias believes in the Orioles’ pitching coaches’ ability to unlock the talent displayed by Gibson in the past – not unlike they were able to with Lyles.
The Orioles also claimed OF Daz Cameron and INF Lewin Díaz off of waivers from the Tigers and Pirates respectively. Cameron was subsequently outrighted to Norfolk, while Díaz will remain on the 40-man roster for the time being. Lewin Díaz will compete with Tyler Nevin for the backup 1B spot, but his chances of winning the position seem small. Over the course of his three-year career, Díaz boasts a modest slash line of .181/.227/.340.
Finally, the Orioles announced the signing of free agent Franchy Cordero to a minor league deal. The former Red Sox OF/1B signed a split deal with the O’s that will net him $1.35 million if he’s in the majors and $450,000 while he’s in the minors. The Orioles also placed outfielder Jake Cave on waivers where the Phillies claimed him.