Hellickson Accepts Qualifying Offer

In what will come as a surprise for many Phillies’ fans, RHP Jeremy Hellickson has accepted the team’s $17.2M Qualifying Offer.

The biggest surprise is that a Scott Boras client would forgo the opportunity to test free agency in what is considered to be a lean market for starting pitchers.

Hellickson’s decision was first reported by Jon Heyman (Twitter link).  Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors has posted an article on the decision.

During the GM meetings in Arizona, Matt Klentak was reported to have had no preference regarding Hellickson’s decision.  Klentak said he would be equally happy to have the pitcher return to anchor his young pitching staff or to accept the draft pick that Hellickson’s declining the QO would present the organization.

With Hellickson returning for the 2017 campaign, the Phillies’ 40-man roster stands at 33 players.  This will have an affect on who and how many prospects will be protected from the Rule 5 selection process as Hellickson will continue to occupy a roster spot going into the draft.

The decision will also shape future moves by the organization during the off season. Klentak will no longer need to trade for an established pitcher nor sign a FA pitcher to bolster a young pitching staff.


43 thoughts on “Hellickson Accepts Qualifying Offer

  1. Surprised by his decision but that doesn’t exclude him from becoming a trade candidate between now and the July trade deadline. The price tag is higher than expected but he is still an attractive option sitting on a 1-year deal with not future strings attached.

    Apparently Boras’s sampling of market interest came back luke warm at best on a multiple year deal.

    1. I’m really surprised. He’s betting on himself staying healthy and getting similar offers a year from now after the big one year deal now that he couldn’t match obviously. I respect that but I’m very surprised. Obviously we can still trade him at the deadline if he’s doing well. I actually like the continuity in the clubhouse. I’m hoping the young guys stay healthy and all improve. My goal is 82-80 with an improving young team and this move helps that.

  2. Should have added that he at the very least he becomes that veteran anchor in the rotation and they don’t have to hit the FA market.

  3. What did I tell you all . . . No one wanted to listen or believe me. Told you guys that 17. Whatever million will be hard to turn down at his age (meaning he can go out and be a FA following this year and still be under 32

  4. Shocked, I’m not sure the trade market will be any better this upcoming season. We’ll find ourselves in the same exact spot next year.

    The younger guys will have another year of development and there won’t be another QO.

  5. I dunno what’s so shocking . . Get a 17plus m pay day and re enter FA next year . . . Either way he cashed in.

    1. Eric – contracts in MLB are guaranteed. Regardless of AAS, Hellickson could have landed a $45mm guaranteed deal. He left a lot of money on the table on the gamble that he can replicate 2015’s performance. While he was never a guarantee to accept, most industry pundits had him doing just that. There’s more to the decision than just comparing 2016 salaries in a vacuum

      1. I know they are guaranteed, he took the guarantee . . . Who was it last year who ended up turning down the QO only to sign a 1yr deal for 8m? I said this over the summer, why would a team want to give up their 1st rd pick for a pitcher who’s going to be at the back of their rotation. And the teams who have protected picks, aren’t going to want to give up a comp pick/2nd round for a back of the rotation starter who prob won’t really help their rebuild (assuming most of the teams who have protected picks are trying to get better). Which is exactly where he found himself, so you take the 17.2m which just more then doubled your career earnings and you are still young enough to get a multi year in FA next year where there prob won’t be a pick attached. And I’m not Monday morning QBing anything I’m saying . . .

  6. If we didn’t get a respectable offer last July, what makes you think we’re going to get one next July? He had one of his best seasons last year and we can only hope he turned a corner.

    I still think a big play is going to be involved here. The only way this team has changed from last year is the addition of Howie Kendrick. I wouldn’t be surprised if Velasquez or Hernandez gets moved this winter. Adding Kendrick alone improves us how many wins? Two? At best.

    I can’t wait to see what else Klentak has in store.

    1. “If we didn’t get a respectable offer last July, what makes you think we’re going to get one next July?”

      It could be said he didn’t have the respectability last July that he now has and may have this coming July. He had a 4.62 in 2015 and by the end of last June still had a 4+ ERA – then turned it around.

      1. You are right on the era numbers. Not sure about all the advanced stuff that could tell a better story.

        I think he gets dealt this July because our needs are a little different this year. Last year, it was imperative to get maximum value out of him. Maybe that was a team’s top 1-5 prospect. If we didn’t get it, we still had the QO to fall back on.

        Now that may not be an option for 2017. Perhaps we can shoot for something lower. Maybe we look to get a team’s top 5-10 prospect but with an added lottery ticket arm attached.

        But that’s assuming he pitches well. He has a sketchy track record up to this point and I’m not totally convinced we can capitalize on this year’s, lower expected return.

    2. I can wait.

      MK has done nothing. He reminds me of my sophomore roommate. A stud with ladies but who had skid-marked drawers… Am I right, people?

  7. I had a feeling I think staying in a area for more the a yr helped. I kept saying how he liked it here , anyway he’s a good pitcher to going into next yr.

  8. I’m a little shocked that he accepted it because his agent is Scott Boras, who thinks all his clients are the “cream of the crop”. But $17M is a lot to turn down. Now we have a glut of starting pitching and we’ll see what will happen.

    1. The Boras part shouldn’t have played a role, he’s had clients do it before and even more so this year . . . again don’t get whats so shocking, I was thinking him turning it down would be shocking.

      1. Eric D…other than Matt Wieters, so far, who were the others that accepted a QO that were Boras clients? I cannot find and other….Helluickson being the second.

        1. So, two Boras clients have accepted QOs…that’s out of five total, since the QO system was introduced in 2012. Scott Boras is the only agent who has had more than one client accept a QO.

  9. Not surprised by either move (that we did not trade at the deadline last year, or that he decided to take the money) Even though its a thin market who wants to give up a 1st round pick and pay a lot for a SP who would not be at the top of the rotation on most competitive teams. Also from what I heard the Phils wanted the same high price for him last July.

    Basically he is betting (if he stays healthy) that he can either get more money next free agency when he does not cost his new club a 1st round pick, or he will be able to get negotiate a multi-year deal with whoever trades for him at the trade deadline.

  10. With Hellickson on the 40man roster, I think the Phillies just might bite the $13M insurance policy on Matt Harrison by releasing him, all the more now that they need one extra spot which they weren’t anticipating. Of course it’s not my money but if that 40th spot is worth protection then hey….

    1. I do not believe the Phils have the option to release Harrison, because you cannot release injured players- believe I read that on this site. Somebody help me!

  11. I think Klentak overplayed his hand last year with hellickson…made qualifying offer in an attempt to get pick…he may be able to trade him this year or sign to an extension

  12. Hellickson didn’t stay for the money. Teams were unwilling to forfeit a #1 draft pick. They were probably lowballing him because they’d also lose that pick. Interesting development aye? Or at least that’s the spin that the Hellickson camp is putting on it.

    The domino effect is the Phils could lose a very good player in the Rule 5 or the timetable could be moved up. Trade some of those prospects for long term players now. It could be time to get that rebuild going a little earlier.

    I’m seeing this as a net negative. He’s a really good pitcher and he’ll win some games but a Comp. Pick at the end of the 1st round is a big loss. If they speed up the rebuild, there are in extreme danger that you’ll add a lot of payroll for players that don’t quite fit. Young players get delayed or traded suddenly your big picture goes out of focus.

    1. Fair point, though it likely impacts a fringe 40 man player (Asche, Garcia, Arajuo, etc.) who they end up dropping. I don’t see them unprotecting someone they think they could lose in Rule 5 at the expense of one of those fringe guys.

      The other area it could impact is whether or not they are active in the Rule 5 draft- they may decide the player they protect is worth more than anyone they could pick up drafting in the 8 spot

    2. It’s not really a net negative, it’s just not the optimum outcome. The value of having Hellickson for another year almost certainly outweighs the risk of losing a player in the Rule 5 draft. He will help settle down the rotation and provide solid innings (as he did last year), he’s a good role model for the younger pitchers because this dude really knows how to pitch, and he could still be traded at the deadline (or retained if they change their minds). His salary this year is an afterthought that does not affect the future prospects of the organization in the least since they are not failing to do, or unable to do, anything as a result of overpaying him a little.

      1. By the way, the cutting of Harrison, which will cost the team millions of dollars in insurance money which it did not have to lose, should quell any concerns that the team is just trying to save money. They aren’t – they are trying to assemble a championship team and are going about it in a very sensible way.

  13. Did Harrison really get released?

    if so, it would be interesting who the 40th guy on the roster to be protected is. I guess we will se the 40 man soon but it will be fun to conjecture who that last protected guy is and….is he worth 13 million bucks?

    1. Ok I’m reading from a few outlets that he was released, just nothing on the Phils site, but that is not news

      1. Worth around $7.5M if you believe the reports I’ve seen indicate that the insurance covered around 1/2 of his contract…

        Don’t know that it was a sound financial decision but shows a willingness to take advantage of their small payroll in 2016 to keep potential prospects.

  14. Yes from my calculations they need at least 2 more spots to add about 10 guys to the 40 man.

    My guess at least a couple of these guys are now being sneaked through the wire and will be assigned if they make it through;

    Phil Klein, David Buc, Sev Gonzo

    Joely, Mariot, and Garcia are guys I’m not sure are worth 7.5 mil to keep on the 40 man

  15. Now that we no longer need to look for a vet starting pitcher, it is imperative that Cesar be traded along with some minimal prospect to gain a L bat for the OF along with some minor lg pitcher prospect. Several teams are supposedly interested in him.

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