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Gibson aims to build off strong 2nd half

Right-hander moving on from losing arbitration case
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With his arbitration hearing behind him, Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson said on Friday that he's focused on getting ready for the start of the season and isn't worried about losing his case on Thursday.

After missing the first two days of workouts, Gibson arrived at camp on Thursday and found out later in the afternoon about the result. Gibson had requested $4.55 million, but the Twins won and will pay him $4.2 million in 2018. It was the first arbitration hearing for the Twins since Kyle Lohse in '06, and the first time the club won a case since '04 with Johan Santana.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With his arbitration hearing behind him, Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson said on Friday that he's focused on getting ready for the start of the season and isn't worried about losing his case on Thursday.

After missing the first two days of workouts, Gibson arrived at camp on Thursday and found out later in the afternoon about the result. Gibson had requested $4.55 million, but the Twins won and will pay him $4.2 million in 2018. It was the first arbitration hearing for the Twins since Kyle Lohse in '06, and the first time the club won a case since '04 with Johan Santana.

"I'm not going to sit here and act disappointed," Gibson said. "I wanted to win, but it was more for my lawyers and my agent who put in all the time to prepare for the case. For me, I was going to get the $4.2 [million] or the $4.55 [million]. At the end of the day, I've got a job. I'm surrounded by a lot of good people who care about me, and I'm still going to make a great salary to play baseball."

Gibson heard a lot about the process going into it, including how teams build their case around the negatives that happen during the season. But Gibson said the Twins presented a fair case and weren't too harsh in their evaluation.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"It was what I expected," Gibson said. "It wasn't like a bloodbath situation that I have heard before. I kind of understand their job was to point out all the negatives and try to push away all the good things, and our job was to do the opposite. It was a pretty similar argument from both sides, honestly. A pretty simple case. They argued their side a little bit better than we did."

Gibson, 30, figures to be a major part of Minnesota's rotation after a strong second half last season. The right-hander posted a 6.31 ERA in 16 starts before the All-Star break and had a stint at Triple-A Rochester in May, only to turn it around. Gibson compiled a 3.76 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings over his final 13 outings, helping the Twins to the American League Wild Card Game.

"Fortunately, I had a club that values what I did the second half of last season," Gibson said. "If they didn't, they would have let me go. Any time you can go through the arbitration process and have a job and have someone willing to pay for you to play, you are in a fortunate situation."

Video: Kyle Gibson preparing to bounce back in 2018

Twins Tidbits

• Twins manager Paul Molitor said he hasn't had a chance to talk with Joe Mauer about the fact he's in the last year of his contract but said he's not worried about it affecting the 14-year veteran. Molitor, though, said he ultimately believes the six-time All-Star and former AL MVP Award winner won't play for any other club.

"I think Joe is going to be a lifelong Twin," Molitor said. "That's my gut reaction."

• Molitor said he's on board with attempts to improve pace of game and is curious to see what Major League Baseball announces leading up to Grapefruit League play. Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Thursday that there will be changes before the start of Spring Training games. Molitor said he doesn't want to see fundamental changes such as limiting the number of relievers you can use in a game or an inning but is fine with a pitch clock.

"That wouldn't bother me," Molitor said. "It's an aesthetic to fans that you're at least trying to fix the issue."

• The Twins were one of roughly 15-20 teams to scout Tim Lincecum at his throwing showcase on Thursday in Seattle. Lincecum, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2016, reportedly showed an improved fastball that averaged between 90-93 mph.

Tweet from @RhettBollinger: Kennys Vargas is having fun, signing for fans and taking selfies with them pic.twitter.com/P0C7b3wUMB

• Shortstop Jorge Polanco and first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas arrived at camp on Friday and joined other early arrivals in a workout on a back field at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. Position players report on Sunday, with the first full-squad workouts on Monday. The only position players on the 40-man roster who have yet to report are Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano, who is currently training in the Dominican Republic but is expected to report on time.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook, and listen to his podcast,

Minnesota Twins, Kyle Gibson