Look, I’m as wild about what Jeremy Hellickson has done for the Phillies as anyone. He’s been great. But if the rumors are true, this year’s starting pitching trade market has absolutely gone off the rails.
As the trade deadline draws closer, it’s possible the Phils could receive a number of players in return for the 29-year-old free agent-to-be.
Sign that the trade market has officially gotten out of hand: Jeremy Hellickson may well fetch at least three, and perhaps four, prospects.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2016
It is interesting that this news comes on the day one fewer suitor emerged for Hellickson’s services. The Marlins swung a deal with the San Diego Padres netting them two starters, Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea, in exchange for prospects Josh Naylor and Luis Castillo.
Miami was reportedly very interested in trading for Hellickson, but according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, could get a deal done with the Phils.
The Marlins turned to SD after not matching up with Phillies on Hellickson. And the Rays asked for Yelich & Realmuto for Moore or Odorizzi!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 29, 2016
Seriously Tampa, what kind of asking price is that for Moore or Odorizzi?
In Cashner, the Marlins received a rental. But they also got a pitcher that is under team control through the 2022 season in Rea. But neither Cashner nor Rea has exactly been lighting it up this season.
Hellickson has been worth more than those two pitchers combined. Like Cashner, he is a rental too, which will certainly hold down his value some.
But if this is the kind of return San Diego got for two middling starters, maybe Passan’s tweet isn’t so crazy.
Naylor played in the Futures Game a few weeks ago and has 9 homers and 54 RBIs for the Marlins’ A affiliate in Greensboro. The first baseman was Miami’s top pick (12th overall) in 2015, and was the team’s second-best prospect, according to MLB.com.
Castillo was the No. 6 prospect in Miami’s system, a 23-year-old right-hander who has a 2.25 ERA, 84 strikeouts and 15 walks for the Marlins A team in Jupiter.
Clearly, Miami liked the controlability of Rea, but what good is controlling a pitcher who isn’t very good?
There is no doubt the Phils have a legitimate trade piece on their hands. But this market is so crazy, there’s really no telling what the Phillies could get for him now. Just remember that, whatever they get for him, it’s gravy.
Phillies invested $7 million and a rookie-ball arm to acquire Hellickson. It could pay dividends. https://t.co/2A84CA6v7G— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 29, 2016
ESPN reported Wednesday that the Phillies were looking for a team’s top-5 prospect in return for Hellickson, and given the San Diego-Miami deal, that doesn’t sound insane at all. And, if they don’t get what they want, the Phils say they’ll extend him a qualifying offer and either keep him for another year at a little over $16 million or take the draft pick that would come if another team signs him, somewhere between the first and second rounds of next year’s draft.
It’s a seller’s market, kids.