This week started with the most enjoyable kind of rumor: a mystery team was close to acquiring Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays. No, Hellickson is no longer a big name trade candidate, but the mystery! The imminence! Ooh la la!
And now the week ends with a resolution: Hellickson has been traded to the Diamondbacks. As I discussed when the rumor first broke, I didn’t find Hellickson to be a particularly compelling trade target, and I’m not surprised that the Cubs weren’t on the other end of this mystery. The peripherals have always been questionable, and the results matched the last couple of years. With another arbitration raise on the way, Hellickson’s value doesn’t seem particularly high.
In return, however, looks decent for the Rays, who get a couple of young, but intriguing, positional prospects: Andrew Velazquez and Justin Williams. Each was in the 10 to 15 range in MLB.com’s updated prospect list for the Diamondbacks.
There’s not a ton of market impact here, at least not the Cubs, who I don’t anticipate will be/would have been competing against the Diamondbacks for too many of their top targets (ditto the Rays, now). It’s possible, I suppose, that the Diamondbacks – or a team that just didn’t get Hellickson – are in that second tier pitching market, so there could be some overlap there. It’s a little early in the offseason to really know. Clearly the Diamondbacks preferred the smaller and shorter-term financial investment tied to Hellickson.