Kyle Gibson initially showed enough promise in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery that securing a spot in the Twins’ rotation seemed possible, but today they optioned the former first-round pick to Triple-A.
Gibson’s velocity has actually improved since going under the knife, but he’ll be on an innings limit after missing nearly all of last season and allowed eight runs in eight innings of work this spring to rule out cracking the Opening Day rotation.
Assuming he stays healthy and pitches well at Triple-A the right-hander should be in Minnesota by the second half, as the Twins certainly need plenty of rotation help and he’s already 25 years old. Gibson ranks sixth on my annual list of the Twins’ prospects and is considered a top-100 prospect across MLB.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.