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Rangers Trade Gibson, Kennedy & Crouse To Phillies For Howard, Two Prospects

The Texas Rangers cashed in on two veteran pitchers to aid their rebuilding effort.

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers made another trade before Friday's 3:00 p.m. CT deadline that aids in their rebuilding effort.

The Rangers cashed in on the elevated value of veteran starting pitcher Kyle Gibson and reliever Ian Kennedy, pulling off a six-player trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. In return, the Rangers acquired RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Kevin Gowdy and RHP Josh Gessner.

Texas is also including pitching prospect Hans Crouse and cash considerations in the deal. The Rangers officially announced the trade Friday afternoon.

Howard is the centerpiece of the deal for Texas. The 25-year-old right-hander was the Phillies' No. 1 prospect on Baseball America prior to the season. Howard was the Phillies' second-round pick in 2017, and in 53 minor league appearances (all starts), he put up a 3.09 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and 11.94 strikeouts-per-nine (K/9) in 233 innings.

Howard's short exposure to the big leagues hasn't gone as smoothly. In 17 appearances (13 starts), Howard owns a 5.81 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP and 9.23 K/9 in 52 2/3 innings.

Neither Gowdy or Gesser are in the Phillies' top 30 on Baseball America or MLB.com.

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Kyle Gibson has had a career year with the Rangers, posting a 6-3 record with a 2.87 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 133 innings. He earned a trip to the All-Star Game earlier this month for the first time in his career.

Ian Kennedy has also had a bounce-back season after a rocky 2020 season afflicted by injuries. He's recorded 16 saves in 17 opportunities as the Rangers' closer, posting a 2.51 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 32 appearances. 

The most curious part of the trade is the inclusion of Hans Crouse. The 22-year-old right-hander had been one of the more valued homegrown prospects in the Rangers farm system since he was drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft. He is, however, Rule 5 eligible this winter and some people in the organization weren't sure if he was going to remain a starter or end up as a reliever.

This is a developing story. We will update as we gather more information.

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