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The Phillies Extend A $17.2 Million Qualifying Offer To Jeremy Hellickson, Hoping He Won't Accept

If you watched the Phillies this season, congrats you were the only one. No, if you watched the Phillies this season, it would be unfathomable that any one player would be worth $17 million for a single year. He’s three games over .500 with a 3.90 ERA on his career, which are solid but hardly eye-popping stats. Hellickson will be 30 this year, which is a notch older than their planned pitching core of Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff.

Hellickson is not in the Phillies long term plans. So why did they offer him a qualifying offer? It’s a move towards the future. If Hellickson decides to enter free agency, the Phils get a compensatory pick, which should be decent because of the money they’re throwing at him. If he takes the money, then we have one of the few trade chips in a sparse pitcher’s market. If he doesn’t, we have another pick between the first and second rounds to bolster an improving farm system.

Hellickson is ranked by some as one of the top free agents in baseball. And while he was solid last year, any team that gives him a massive contract will be disappointed by their return. He’s a 4th starter on a good team. If the Phillies can parlay that into a draft pick and thus a developmental player, then it’s worth the no name minor leaguer we flipped for him last winter.