BALTIMORE — After weeks of waiting to see what the Orioles would do at the trade deadline, it looks like we’ve received our answer. Friday night, news broke that the Orioles would receive Jeremy Hellickson from the Phillies in exchange for Hyun Soo Kim and minor league pitcher Garrett Cleavinger.
Hellickson made his debut in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays and showed a lot of promise during the first few years of his career. In 2011 he won the American league rookie of the year award. He followed that up with a gold glove in 2012.
Since then, Hellickson has experienced a lot of inconsistencies. The 30-year-old pitcher accumulated a record of 67-63 and an ERA of 3.98 in his eight-year career. This season, he boasts a 6-5 record and 4.73 ERA. If you compare basic stats, he is having a better season than most of the O’s rotation, but not by much.
With Hellickson entering free agency following this season, the Orioles are dealing another prospect for a rental player. In years past, Dan Duquette and company have acquired rental players to help with a potential playoff push. Some of these players, like Andrew Miller, were a success. Others, like Gerardo Perra, were a clear waste of a good prospect.
With the Orioles currently sitting over six games back in the wildcard race, it is unlikely that Hellickson’s presence will be enough to make the O’s winners. Another possible motive for the trade would be that the O’s simply need a pitcher to eat innings in the closing months of the season. This would allow the Orioles to remove at least one weak link from the rotation. With all this in mind, fans are already adding this to the list of questionable moves committed by Duquette.
“Jeremy Hellickson is a solid, dependable, veteran Major League starter who knows how to win in the American League,” Duquette said after the deal was made. “He should provide some quality innings for the Orioles.”
The trade will also end Hyun Soo Kim’s brief career with the Orioles. Kim came to the O’s from the KBO last year and racked up a .302 batting average in 346 plate appearances. The left fielder never got substantial at-bats in his time with the O’s but remained a fan favorite. Kim is hitting .232 in 2017 with just one home run and 10 RBI’s.
Garrett Cleavinger was drafted by the Orioles in 2015 and was a part of the teams AA affiliate in 2017. Cleavinger worked his way to a 2-4 record and a 6.28 ERA with the Baysox this season. He has yet to start a game in his minor league career.
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