Another name in a long list of pitchers on the trading block is that of Jeremy Hellickson of the Philadelphia Phillies, whose two most likely destinations by the time the deadline passes are the Miami Marlins and the Boston Red Sox.
Hellickson, the 2011 AL rookie of the year when he played for the Tampa Bay Rays, is having his best season since 2012. He is 6-7 with a 4.03 ERA, a 1.200 WHIP, striking out 7.9 batters per nine innings and doing a good job in avoiding walks, striking out 3.63 per walk, the best full-season ratio of his career, although he has been improving in this aspect each season.
The Red Sox have been quite active, adding pieces over the last few weeks, both to the bullpen and the rotation. But they’re not happy with their current situation, and considering they have plenty of pieces that they can move from a very good farm system, they’re still out there shopping for someone to improve their starting pitching situation. Hellickson, if he should arrive, fits the bill. The Phillies, aware of the interest, have recently been scouting the Boston minor leaguers to give them an inventory of who they’re asking in return.
For the Marlins, it’s a bit more difficult. Not because they don’t need someone to help their pitching, but because their farm system is quite thin on talent, especially after trading for Fernando Rodney earlier in the season. They should be able to come up with the pieces that move Hellickson – the Phillies won’t fight that hard to keep him, but the move is simpler with the Red Sox than with Miami.
Being a one-year rental, with a $7 million salary, or what remains of it, in 2016 makes Hellickson attractive for prospective “buyers”. With the 29-year old pitching against the Marlins this week, there’s a very good chance his move away from Philadelphia is coming up, giving the Phillies another few pieces in their pretty good rebuilding phase, probably having a better season than they were preparing for.