Philadelphia Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson Trade Rumors Galore

Jul 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches during the second inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches during the second inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Another day, another trade rumor for Philadelphia Phillies ace Jeremy Hellickson.

With each passing day, another team is added to the potential list of suitors for Jeremy Hellickson. Over the course of the season, he has been solid but not spectacular for the Philadelphia Phillies posting a 4.03 ERA over 111.2 innings pitched. Hellickson has exceeded the expectations that the Philadelphia Phillies have set for him when he was acquired in a salary dump deal.

Since a team that quires him would only be on the hook for approximately three million of his seven million dollar salary it makes him desirable to cash-strapped teams. He also appeals to teams with a weak farm system because it wouldn’t take much in terms of prospects to pry him from the clutches of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies have also synced up his starts with Jake Thompson‘s which adds to the narrative that he will be traded prior to the July 31st trade deadline. Thompson has been hot lately having  given up just four earned over 56 1/3 innings in his last eight starts. With their starts being synced Thompson could easily slot in for Hellickson when / if he’s traded without missing a beat.

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The three teams that have been heavily linked with Hellickson are the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles and now the Miami Marlins. We’ll go into these rumors as well as their plausibility.

Miami Marlins:

The Miami Marlins are surprising contenders for an NL Wild Card spot with a one-game lead over the Mets for the second spot thanks to a 50-42 record but they could use reinforcements for the stretch run. Since they already have Jose Fernandez in the rotation the Marlins aren’t seeking a top end option but instead need a dependable starter to pair with Wie-Yin Chen and that’s what makes Hellickson appealing to them.

While the Marlins have a barren farm system they still have a few intriguing pieces that could peek the interest of the Philadelphia Phillies in trade talks namely J.T. Riddle who is playing shortstop in their system but is a natural second baseman. Adding him to the farm system would possibly fill the keystone shaped hole in future Philadelphia Phillies’ lineups since second base is the one position that the team has no legitimate prospects at.

According to the MLB Trade Rumors report,

“The Marlins have also been connected to the likes of Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore, Rich Hill, Chris Archer and Ervin Santana this summer, and they reportedly expressed interest in Drew Pomeranz and Bud Norris before their respective trades to the Red Sox and Dodgers.”

Normally inter-division trades are rare but in this case, it could make sense for both the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins. The Marlins can sure up the rotation while the Phillies can get a piece for Jeremy Hellickson without the risk of extending a Qualifying Offer to him in the offseason.

Baltimore Orioles:

At this point, there isn’t much to this rumor but it’s plausible so I’m including it anyway.

Heading into the All-Star break the Baltimore Orioles were sporting the third-worst starting rotation ERA in all of baseball at 5.15. That was due to the effort of two competent starters in Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman who are performing with not much behind them. Adding Hellickson would give the Orioles a third dependable starter and with their dangerous offense that could be all they need to make noise in the playoffs. They have no starters waiting in the wings and Dylan Bundy’s first major league start on Sunday was less than inspiring.

This would force the Orioles to look externally for rotation help. Like the Marlins, they have a barren farm system but they could still work out a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies to acquire Hellickson.

The Camden Chat Report states,

“If the Phillies really are trying to move Hellickson, the Orioles should go after him. They’re not going to get a top-of-the-market starter, and most other starters aren’t worth acquiring. Jeremy Hellickson is one of the few guys who is not only obtainable but would also be a big improvement to the rotation.”

The Orioles don’t have a prospect that sticks out as a true target for the Phillies but they have a number of intriguing pitchers in their top 30 prospects that could interest Matt Klentak if Dan Duquette were to give him a ring. I expect the Orioles to make a move to improve the rotation and looking at the values placed on starting pitchers Hellickson may be the only one that truly fits their comfort level.

Boston Red Sox:

Some people think that after the Red Sox acquired Drew Pomeranz from the Padres that it would take them out of the Jeremy Hellickson sweepstakes but I’m not buying it. The Red Sox have the depth in their farm system to make multiple deals and they need all  the pitching help that they can get as they chase the aforementioned Baltimore Orioles. They’ve already scouted Hellickson when the Philadelphia Phillies took on the Atlanta Braves so the interest is legitimate.

The Red Sox still have a struggling ace in David Price while Clay Buchholz is in bullpen purgatory so while they added one front line pitcher a depth option may still be in the cards for them. His prior success in the AL East could also appeal to them as they look to keep pace. states,

“But for a pitching-needy team like the Red Sox, Hellickson can make sense as a durable back-end of the rotation option. Heading into play on July 6, Boston’s rotation owned a combined 4.82 ERA—good for 22nd in baseball.”

The Red Sox have the farm system to make it happen so this isn’t completely outlandish. They want to win during David Ortiz’s farewell tour and aren’t against strengthening the team from external sources to do it.

Next: How Valuable is Peter Bourjos?

As we get closer to the trade deadline and the contenders begin to separate from the pretenders the market for Jeremy Hellickson is beginning to materialize. While these three teams may be some of his top suitors currently that could  easily change over the next few days with how volitle the market is.

It would be a suprise if Hellickson is still pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies after the trade deadline however as it doen’t look like they will be short of sutiors and they’re also able to replace his production in the rotation.