MLB

Kyle Gibson, Ian Kennedy trade

The National League’s heavy hitters made a flurry of moves before Friday’s Trade Deadline.

The Phillies kept pace as best they could.

The Phillies are in agreement with Texas on a deal for right-handed starter Kyle Gibson, right-handed reliever Ian Kennedy and righty pitching prospect Hans Crouse, sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. Gibson bolsters a rotation that badly needs help. He is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts. Kennedy improves the back end of a bullpen that has been struggling to find consistency for years. He has a 2.51 ERA and 16 saves in 32 appearances. Three right-handers are headed to the Rangers in return, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand: rookie Spencer Howard and prospects Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner. Philadelphia will also receive about $4 million from Texas to complete the deal.

Gibson should help a rotation that is struggling. Right-hander Zach Eflin is on the injured list with tendinitis in his right knee and there is no timetable for his return. Right-hander Vince Velasquez, scheduled to start Friday night in Pittsburgh, has a 10.91 ERA in four starts this month, a 7.74 ERA in 10 starts since May 25 and a 7.15 ERA this season against every team other than the Marlins. He has pitched five or more innings in just eight of 16 starts. Left-hander Matt Moore is scheduled to start Monday in Washington. He has a 10.80 ERA in his last two starts, a 5.86 ERA in six starts since he returned from the IL last month and a 6.98 ERA in nine starts overall. He has pitched five or more innings three times.

Gibson made his first All-Star team this season. He was 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his first 16 starts. He is 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA in his last three.

The Phillies opened the season with Héctor Neris as their closer. They tried left-hander José Alvarado for a few days then moved to left-hander Ranger Suárez. Suárez has been effective. If he remains the closer or not, Kennedy will help the Phillies in the late innings.

The Phillies in the morning acquired Triple-A left-hander Braeden Ogle from the Pirates for Class A catcher Abrahan Guttierez, who was supposed to be in the Tyler Anderson deal that fell apart on Tuesday. Ogle, who turned 24 on Friday, was a 2016 fourth-round pick for the Pirates. He was 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 24 appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis. He struck out 42 and walked 23 in 31 2/3 innings.

Crouse, Texas’ second-round pick in the 2017 Draft, was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Rangers’ No. 9 prospect. He has pitched to a 3.35 ERA in 13 starts at Double-A this season, striking out 54 in 51 innings while posting a 0.90 WHIP.


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