Phillies make $17.2M offer to Hellickson
PHILADELPHIA >> All through what might have been his only season with the team, the Phillies camouflaged their longer-term interest in Jeremy Hellickson.
They revealed their plan Tuesday: If he’s OK with it, they’ll take him back for one year.
For multiple reasons, the Phils offered the righthanded, free-agent pitcher a qualifying of $17.2 million Monday. Should Hellickson accept, the Phillies will have another season with their most seasoned starting pitcher, a former Rookie of the Year who went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA.
The collectively bargained qualifying offer for a major-league free agent fluctuates annually. It must be an average of the highest 125 annual major-league salaries. Should Hellickson reject the deal, the Phillies will receive an added choice high in the next draft, potentially as high as No. 25 overall. Either way, the Phils, who can afford to bump Hellickson from the $7 million he made last season, will benefit just by making the offer.
Hellickson is a client of Scott Boras, who is known to favor long-term deals. For that, it’s likely Hellickson will reject the offer. He has seven days to decide. If Hellickson leaves, expect the Phillies to sign another veteran pitcher to a shortterm contract.
Though Hellickson was politely non-committal about his future during the season, he was satisfied and professionally encouraged by his time with the Phillies.
“I felt good every time out,” he said. “I felt good in between starts, recovering like I was early in my career. I was able to work on stuff on my bullpen days a little more than I have in the past.”
Not only was Hellickson a solid starter, he was excellent at times. More, he was a positive influence on a young staff that included Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin and Adam Morgan.
“He’s been outstanding for us all year,” Pet Mackanin said late in the season. “Great guy. Good worker. Very focused.”
Hellickson was viewed as one of the more appealing available pitchers at the last trade deadline. The Phillies, who listened, did not make a move, an indication, that they viewed Hellickson worthy of continued consideration as a reliable starter.
“He’s been terrific,” Matt Klentak said, during the season. “And he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do.”
“There’s a reason,” the general manager said, “we brought him here in the first place.”
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was offered a 1-year deal to stay with the team.