Are the Astros after Jeremy Hellickson?
At the beginning of the baseball season, I noticed this guy pitching well for the Phillies, who used to be an emerging pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays. I added him to a few of my fantasy baseball ball teams but quickly bailed when he would get shelled. I would pick him up again until he got shelled again. This pitcher is Jeremy Hellickson, who is available to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline.
Jon Morosi suggested on MLB Network that Hellickson could be a rental option for the Astros who were rumored to be looking for a pitcher for 2016. The Phillies will ask for the stars, but when the dust settles, I expect the Phillies to be willing to get something in return for Hellickson. The Phillies could also offer him a qualifying offer this upcoming offseason but is he that level of player they would want to play for $15 plus million?
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The answer is no. He had a great year, but he is not worth that type of money. Hellickson is also young, so he will be looking at getting a long term deal somewhere. Speaking off which, let’s take a look at Hellickson’s stats. He has an 8-7 record with a 3.70 ERA while striking out 109 hitters in 131 1/3 innings.
The question that Jeff Luhnow will have to ask, would Hellickson be an upgrade over Mike Fiers? Fiers is 7-4 with a 4.42 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 110 innings. Fiers throws his fastball around 89.5 mph versus Hellickson’s 90.1 mph. Hellickson has added a slider this season to his other three pitches. They have very similar groundball and flyball rates. Hellickson has a better walk rate per nine innings pitched than Fiers, 1.99 to 2.13, but in the grand scheme, is that really an upgrade?
I’m not sure the Astros will trade a big package for a player like Hellickson unless you look at only the difference in the ERA. What do you think?
***Stats from Fangraphs***