By Ryan Decker
As part of the deal, the Orioles sent major league outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, minor league pitcher Garrett Clevenger and international bonus money to the Phillies in exchange for the starter and cash.
Simply it was a trade that needed to be made for the Orioles.
It’s well publicized that the Baltimore starting rotation has been amongst the worst in baseball, and that help was desperately needed.
Even though Hellickson’s stats don’t look great – 6-5 record, 4.73 ERA, 1.255 WHIP – he in no way can worsen the current O’s rotation. If anything, he’s an immediate improvement.
His arrival in Baltimore will likely push either Wade Miley or Ubaldo Jimenez, the latter being the more likely option of the two, out of the starting rotation. The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year also has plenty of experience pitching in the AL East, spending the first five years of his career in Tampa pitching for the Rays.
The deal made sense for Philadelphia, too.
It wasn’t likely that Hellickson would re-up with the Phillies for a second year in a row, and it makes sense to transfer the rest of his $17.2M contract to another team. (Though some of the cash Philadelphia sent with him to Baltimore will ultimately be used to pay the remaining $6.1M of his salary)
The swapping for Kim is appropriate due to an overcrowded outfield in Baltimore, due in large part to the emergence of Trey Mancini, and because of Philadelphia trading outfielder Howie Kendrick to Washington just hours before dealing Hellickson.
Kim had also not developed into the everyday player that Baltimore had hoped he would become.
The biggest down side to the trade is that Hellickson, a free agent at season’s end, is just a two-month rental for Baltimore.
Though there’s no indication one way or another as to what Hellickson will do after the season, it’s slightly puzzling to see a team in Baltimore trade for a piece when it’s in fourth place in its division, and five teams separate the Orioles and the second AL wild card spot.
Overall, it was a good trade for the O’s.
Baltimore gets a starting pitcher to improve a rotation that’s been bad at best – a pitcher that should noticeably improve the staff.
Hellickson, though, isn’t guaranteed to pitch in Baltimore after this season.
Trade Grade: B