Hel­lick­son re­port­edly ac­cepts qual­i­fy­ing of­fer

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jack McCaf­fery jm­c­caf­fery@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Jack­McCaf­fery on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Pete Mack­anin will face one fewer ques­tion when the Phillies hit spring train­ing. His No. 1 start­ing pitcher slot, which had a chance to be wide open, will be­long to Jeremy Hel­lick­son.

Such was the re­al­ity Mon­day when, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports, the free-agent right-han­der elected to ac­cept a qual­i­fy­ing of­fer of $17.2 mil­lion to pitch for the Phils in 2017.

Hel­lick­son, a former Rookie of the Year, went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA last sea­son. While both Mack­anin and Matt Klen­tak had hinted that they would like him back, the Phillies had too many de­vel­op­ing, young starters

to make a long-term com­mit­ment to the 29-year-old pitcher.

For mul­ti­ple rea­sons, how­ever, they were com­fort­able in is­su­ing the oneyear pro­posal. With Hel­lick­son ac­cept­ing, they have their most re­li­able pitcher back. Had he de­clined to re-sign, the Phils would have been granted an ex­tra choice late in the first round of the next draft sim­ply for hav­ing made the of­fer.

Ei­ther way, they would have been sat­is­fied.

The col­lec­tively bar­gained qual­i­fy­ing of­fer for a ma­jor-league free agent

fluc­tu­ates an­nu­ally. It must be an av­er­age of the high­est 125 an­nual ma­jor­league salaries. The Phils made Hel­lick­son the $17.2 mil­lion min­i­mum bid last week. He had seven days to de­cide. He chose to re­main with the Phils.

Had Hel­lick­son not re­turned, the Phils likely would have shopped for a vet­eran arm, also on a short-term deal. Though they likely would have found one for much less than $17.2 mil­lion, they would have had dif­fi­culty re­plac­ing Hel­lick­son’s pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on a de­vel­op­ing start­ing staff that will in­clude Jerad Eick­hoff, Vince Ve­lasquez, Aaron Nola, Jake Thomp­son, Zach Eflin and Adam Mor­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.