Phillies Extend Qualifying Offer to Jeremy Hellickson
The Phillies got a big bang for their buck on starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson last offseason, sending a lower-level prospect to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Desperate for a veteran who could throw reliable innings, Hellickson gave the Phillies 189 of them. With his contract up, the Phillies had the option of extending a $17.2 million, one-year qualifying offer.
Jon Heyman of FanRag sports reported that the Phillies extended the option to Hellickson. The move means Hellickson can agree to stay with the Phillies on a one-year deal, or head to free agency. If Hellickson chooses free agency, the Phillies would get a late first round draft pick as compensation.
Some worry that Hellickson will accept, and believe the $17.2 million amount is too steep for a player like Hellickson. I do not feel that Hellickson will accept, given that he is ranked the sixth-best free agent on MLB Trade Rumors this offseason, thanks to a very limited menu of options. I think that it would be unlike Hellickson's agent Scott Boras to accept this deal, and Hellickson will get a multi-year deal and the Phillies get their draft pick.
Should the Phillies find Hellickson accepting the offer, they would be very lucky. The Phillies have minimal payroll commitments and they remain in need of a veteran arm to work alongside their talented young arms. After one year of Hellickson, the Phillies could pursue arms in a much deeper free agent class.
Hellickson has one week to decide whether to accept.