Jeremy Hellickson returns to the Phillies on a 1-year deal

The free agent starting pitching market was extremely weak heading into this offseason and it just got weaker on Monday as Jeremy Hellickson accepted the 1-year/$17.2 million qualifying offer to re-sign with the Phillies. This was a little bit of a surprise for Hellickson since he could have gotten a multi-year deal and maybe more money with another team. However, a team that signed him would have had to give up a 2nd round draft pick in the MLB draft which makes teams a lot more hesitant to sign a player with a qualifying offer attached to him. It made sense for the Phillies to extend him a qualifying offer since there isn’t a better option in free agency and Philadelphia wouldn’t be willing to part with a quality prospect to trade for a starter either. Hellickson provides Philadelphia with a solid veteran presence at the top of Philadelphia’s rotation which is really key with the Phillies still being in a rebuild mode. Hellickson has had a couple of bad seasons throughout his career already, so that does cause some concern as to whether he can build on the productive season that he had in 2016. It makes sense for Hellickson to accept the qualifying offer and see if he can build up his value even more for free agency in 2017. This is a good move for the Phillies and Hellickson to reunite for the 2017 season after he had a 12-10 record with a 3.71 ERA last year. However, it will be interesting to see if he reverts back to the poor pitcher that he was with Tampa Bay and Arizona from 2013-2015. Philadelphia can handle this deal financially since they likely won’t make another big move in free agency, so even though they are paying Hellickson a lot it doesn’t mean that they will have a high payroll next season. Overall, it’s a good deal for the Phillies to bring him back, but his lack of consistency is a cause for concern.

Grade: B-



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