No. 8: Offering Jeremy Hellickson Qualifying Offer
The only player worth giving a qualifying offer to this year for the Phillies was starter Jeremy Hellickson. After making a career-high 32 starts and posting his best ERA since 2012, Hellickson was among one of the top pitchers in this year’s weak starting-pitching market – second-best according to CBS Sports.
After the Phillies offered Hellickson the QO, most thought he would decline the offer for a longer, more lucrative deal on the open market. Here at TBOH, we envisioned a scenario where the Phillies would have three of the top 45 picks in the 2017 draft after Hellickson signed somewhere else. Hellickson would get his big contract, and the Phils would get multiple top draft picks.
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Only Hellickson accepted the offer. Teams weren’t willing to part with their first-round draft pick for a player coming off his first good season in several years. Reality settled in for Hellickson, and now he will be back in Philadelphia in 2017.
Now that Hellickson is back for next season, the team essentially gets a do-over on what their goal was with him in 2016. If he can keep up his performance from 2016, teams will come knocking at the trade deadline once again.
Also, with the changes to the qualifying offer system coming in the next collective bargaining agreement, Hellickson would be able to find a long-term contract on the free agent market much easier.