Here’s a roundup of reactions to the Orioles’ somewhat puzzling weekend acquisition of Jeremy Hellickson and cash from the Phillies for Hyun Soo Kim, minor-league pitcher Garrett Cleavinger and the rights to international bonus spending.
- From the Orioles’ perspective, the Hellickson deal feels like part of a broader plan the team hasn’t yet made clear, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun writes. The move signals that the Orioles could be ready to part ways with someone from their struggling current starting rotation (Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Wade Miley and Ubaldo Jimenez), but Hellickson’s own numbers (he has a 4.73 ERA, and his 5.21 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 35.1% ground-ball rate are even less encouraging) don’t suggest he can be much better.
- Orioles exec Dan Duquette says the team made the deal because it sought a reliable starting pitcher, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. “We’d like to be competitive,” says Duquette. “Nobody’s running away with the American League. We’ve got our bullpen back. If we can get some stability to our starting pitching, the rest of our team is intact. Hellickson has been a consistent performer and very competitive.” Duquette further explains that Trey Mancini’s emergence made Kim expendable. Mancini is batting .297/.343/.516 in a surprising rookie season. “The on-base capability that (Kim) showed last year and the ability to hit velocity, he probably didn’t have enough at-bats to sustain that with the way Mancini played as an everyday player,” he says.
- The Phillies had little leverage in trading Hellickson, who was performing poorly and would have been a free agent at the end of the season, Corey Seidman of CSN Philly writes. Kim is also a free agent at the end of the season, and Garrett Cleavinger, the minor-leaguer the Phillies received, has unimpressive statistics as a Double-A reliever and might end up being “just a guy.”