Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson could find himself back in the American League
As sure as the Phillies wear red Jeremy Hellickson will be traded in the next month by all reports across baseball.
One team that could use the 30-year-old Hellickson this summer as they prepare for a post-season run will be the Kansas City Royals, who sit half a game behind the Indians for the AL Central division.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore has openly expressed interest in acquiring a veteran middle of the rotation starter, even if it’s purely a rental. That has Hellickson written all over it.
Any trade involving Hellickson and whatever remains of his $17.2 million contract is likely to involve the Phillies paying a majority of his remaining salary, which is not an issue considering there are only a few months remaining on that deal.
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Unlike last year the Phillies aren’t going to ask for blue-chip prospects in return for Hellickson. Last year that mindset made sense considering they could have received a first round pick by offering him the contract they did.
Targets in a trade will likely include mid-tier prospects Foster Griffin or Andrew Edwards, both pitchers in the upper levels of the Royals organization. Edwards can hit 95-97 with his fastball with consistency and has been able to reach back and touch 102 MPH. Control appears to be Edward’s issue, as is his struggles against lefties.
Griffin is a bit more controlled with a heavier arsenal that includes a fastball, curveball, and a changeup that’s above average. Kansas City drafted the lefty in the first round in 2014, so he’s been in the organization for some time.
Hellickson’s stats in Kauffman Stadium haven’t been impressive, which includes 17 hits allowed in 8.2 innings during the 2013 season. Chalk that up to not pitching well in the ballpark or getting rattled by a team that went to the World Series in consecutive seasons.
Certainly allowing two home runs against Pittsburgh in six innings won’t increase Hellickson’s trade stock.