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 Indians, Mariners, and Rays are working toward finalizing a three-team trade. The full details have not been revealed yet, and there are conflicting reports as to who is going where, but we know that Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion are involved.
Initial reports have the Mariners getting Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians in exchange for Carlos Santana, with Cleveland also receiving first baseman Jake Bauers from the Rays. Outfielder/third baseman Yandy Diaz will reportedly head to Tampa Bay along with a player to be named later. There has been a conflict in the past few minutes, however as to where Encarnacion is actually going: Seattle or Tampa Bay. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says it’s Seattle, Bob Nightengale says it’s Tampa Bay. We’ll know soon enough, I suppose.
Santana played for the Phillies last year and was traded to Seattle just a couple of weeks ago. He’ll never have a chance to wear a Mariners uniform and, instead, will go back to Cleveland, where he played his entire career until 2018. Encarnacion has spent the last two years in Cleveland. Santana is owed $35 million over the next two seasons and has a 2021 buyout. Encarnacion is owed $24 million in 2019 if you include the buyout on his 2020 club option. If Encarnacion is going to Seattle, you have to figure that the Mariners will flip him in mid-season if possible.