Phillies Realistic Trade Returns on Jeremy Hellickson

Jul 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Phillies enter the break just a half-dozen games out of an NL Wildcard berth, but are still more likely to be big sellers as the trade deadline approaches.

With the MLB All-Star Game upon is, we have reached the proverbial “midpoint” of the baseball season. Though technically it’s not the actual halfway point of the schedule, it is the point where teams can take a few days and assess where they are in terms of contending.

For teams such as the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds and the Phils’ division-rival Atlanta Braves, it’s quite obvious that they are going to be sellers and are probably peddling their wares out on street corners as you read this.

For the Phillies, just a half-dozen games back of a Wildcard playoff berth, while they really don’t have to trade some players, it might make more sense to try to get something for them now rather than risk losing them for nothing.

One of those players is starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. He fits all of the criteria a rebuilding team looks for when they are looking to move players:

1) one-year contract, thus won’t have a long-term financial outlay for acquiring teams
2) pitching relatively well
3) little hope of re-signing him at the end of the year

For these reasons, it is highly probable that Hellickson will find himself on another team come August 2nd, more than likely a contending team that is looking for starting pitching depth.

Hellickson’s numbers this season suggest that he is having probably the best year, peripherals wise, of his career.

The righty is posting his highest K/9 percentage (7.92) since his 36-inning audition back in 2010. He is also displaying the best control of his career (2.30 BB/9).

Hellickson is coaxing more ground ball outs than ever (42.4%), but is being haunted by a bit of gopher-itis, as he’s served up 16 home runs in only 105 innings.

His 3.92 ERA might be a bit deceiving, but not as much as you’d think, as Baseball Prospectus’ credits him with a 4.29 DRA (Deserved Run Average.)

All in all, he’s been quite effective for the Phillies this season and would be quite useful for any team trying to earn a playoff berth and make a deep October run this year.

As news has now begun to leak out that multiple teams are looking to acquire his services, fans will begin dreaming up scenarios in which they can trade Hellickson and receive something substantial in return. That’s probably only natural.

When a team like the Red Sox comes calling, sports radio listeners will demand Yoan Moncada or Andrew Benintendi in return for a “solid #3 pitcher“. We, the informed, know that something like that is laughable. No team would give up either of the their top two prospects for a three-month rental.

Instead of being deluded into thinking a trade of anything like Moncada for Hellickson is even possible, focus on what is plausible when looking for a return on Hellickson.

Being a rental, he is not likely to bring back anyone in an organization’s top 20 prospects. With prospect values at an all-time high, it behooves teams to hold on to them hopes that they either blossom under their own watch, or can be used for better talent in return.

We as fans need to look more toward the bottom of the prospect lists, between numbers 21-30, as a likely return for a player such as Hellickson.

These are the guys whose chances of being an impact-type player at the major league level are slim, at best, but are more realistic as targets for the Phillies’ trade chips. These kinds of players are characterized by adjectives like “interesting“, “fringe-average“, etc.

These are the guys who might have a good fastball, but little in the way of secondary pitches. They might be able to hit for a decent average, but with little power and/or no speed. With the right coaching, they might become something. But again, the chances are remote. Hellickson might command a name such as at that level.

All fans like to dream about trade possibilities, but most are just fantasies, nowhere near fair for the opposing team. When it comes to trading Hellickson, instead of focusing on the big names, focus on the tools that the players being rumored might bring.

Just going off of the list provided on, names such as Kyle Martin and Chandler Shepherd, these are the types of names that are realistic targets for the Phillies.

Trade season is fun because of the endless debates one can engage in on social media. Arming themselves with the knowledge of other teams’ systems will make fans better equipped to discuss possible deals with fans of other teams.

In other words, Phillies fans, keep dreaming up trade scenarios in your mind – but dream smarter.

Next: Phillies 7/4-7/10 Week in Review