? ESPN Insider will provide trade grades for every deal before the 4 p.m. ET deadline on July 31.
Baltimore Orioles : D-minus
I’m not giving this one an F, because baseball being baseball, there’s always the chance that Hellickson pitches well down the stretch and the Orioles go on a miracle two-month surge.
Realistically, however, the Orioles aren’t good and Hellickson won’t be good. He has a 4.73 ERA with the Phillies and a 5.50 FIP and has given up 22 home runs in 112? innings. With just 65 strikeouts, I don’t see how his finesse game is going to translate to the AL East. The last time he pitched there was with the Rays in 2014, when he posted a 4.52 ERA in a season in which offense was much lower than it is now. The Orioles are 48-54 after losing Friday and are 6? games back in the wild-card race, with six teams to jump over. Good luck.
They didn’t give up much here, as Cleavinger is the team’s No. 27 prospect, according to MLB.com, but it’s a weak system and he has a 6.28 ERA pitching in relief in Double-A. Kim had a moderately successful season at the plate in 2016 but has been terrible in limited duty in 2017 and is a poor defensive outfielder. He’s included here only to offset some of Hellickson’s salary. The one thing of value is the international money, something the Orioles have traded away before. And you wonder why they never seem to have any prospects from Latin America.
Philadelphia Phillies: D
The Phillies gave Hellickson a qualifying offer last winter, probably believing he’d reject it after a solid 2016 season and pursue a longer-term deal elsewhere. Instead, he accepted it and received a $17.2 million salary. So that decision has to factor into this trade, as the Phillies at least hoped Hellickson would have a good season and be a trade commodity….