Many Phillies fans were shocked when starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was not moved at the trade deadline, but they will be even more surprised with this latest rumor
Jeremy Hellickson is one of the two remaining starting pitchers in the Phillies rotation from Opening Day. Inconsistencies and injuries have forced Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Vincent Velasquez, and Zach Eflin off the field for the remainder of the season.
When the summer trade deadline arrived and Hellickson was pitching reasonably well, it was expected he would be moved in exchange for a package of prospects.
Instead, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak opted to keep Hellickson and have the opportunity to gain a first round draft pick by extending a qualifying offer to Hellickson after the season. With super agent Scott Boras at the helm and a weak free agent class, Hellickson would most likely turn down the one year deal.
However, Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo says the Phillies and Jeremy Hellickson have mutual interest in striking a new deal. Hellickson and Boras will most likely analyze what the former Rookie of the Year could get on the free agent market, where he would be the top option for teams looking for depth in their rotation.
Matt Klentak acquired Jeremy Hellickson over the offseason from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for 20-year-old pitcher Sam McWilliams. The righty played two seasons of rookie ball in the Phillies organization, and spent the entire 2016 season with the Diamondbacks Single-A squad.
Jeremy Hellickson currently owns a 12-10 record with a 3.78 ERA in 31 starts this season. He’s on track to set career-highs in starts and innings pitched, while already setting a personal best 150 strikeouts.
The Phillies starting rotation in 2017 (assuming everyone is healthy once again) looks to be Aaron Nola, Jake Thompson, Vincent Velasquez, Jared Eickhoff, and Zach Eflin. All five of those starters pitched in the minors within the past two seasons, leaving the Phillies with no veteran leadership in the room.
Few veteran starters make sense for the Phillies to sign to a one-year deal or even just invite to spring training. C.J. Wilson has not pitched in over a year, Jared Weaver is a shell of his former self, and Brett Anderson does not stay healthy.
Other veteran starters due to hit free agency include Jorge De La Rosa, R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon, Doug Fister, and Mat Latos.