The Baltimore Orioles bolstered their rotation Friday night in a rather odd trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The O’s acquired starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and cash considerations from the Phillies in exchange for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger and international amateur signing bonus pool money.
Baltimore was in desperate need of another starter, as it entered Saturday with the second-worst rotation ERA in Major League Baseball at 5.98. However, the trade is a bit strange considering the Orioles fell to 7 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East after losing to the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Hellickson hasn’t been great this season, going 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts, and he’s on pace for a career-high in home runs allowed, which doesn’t bode well now that he’s moving to homer-happy Camden Yards. The right-hander also is a free agent after this season, so he’s a rental during a year in which Baltimore likely won’t make the playoffs.
What’s more, the Orioles still could be sellers before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Hellickson still is an upgrade over pretty much all of Baltimore’s starters, so perhaps acquiring the 30-year-old was just the first step in improving their rotation. It should be interesting to see where the O’s go from here.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images