Keith Allison on Flickr
We all knew something was up last night when the Phillies scratched Jeremy Hellickson from his scheduled start, in what was 10-3 victory for the Phillies led by a shutout performance from Jake Thompson, and a multi-home run game for Aaron Altherr. Howie Kendrick was also traded last night to the Nationals. It was later announced that the Phillies would send Jeremy Hellickson and cash to the Orioles in exchange for OF Hyun Soo Kim, left-handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger, and international amateur signing bonus space.
Cleavinger, 23, was ranked as the Orioles’ 27th best prospect according to MLB.com and has been coming out of the bullpen this year for Double-A Bowie. In 27 appearances, he went 2-4 with 6.28 ERA. He averaged 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, throughout 38 2/3 innings this season. The ERA is kind of inflated because Cleavinger had three appearances where he allowed a combined 15 runs in only 3 2/3 innings pitched. The walk rate is scary, averaging 5.4 walks per nine innings pitched and he does not come in ranked on the Phillies’ top 30 prospects list after the trade.
Kim, 29, is a native of Seoul, South Korea and was signed to a two-year contract as free agent by the Orioles in December of 2015. In 56 games played this year, he is slashing .232/.305/.298 with four doubles, one home run, 10 RBI’s, which is a stepped down from Kim’s rookie year where he hit .302 with an .801 OPS in 95 games. Kim has only played left field in his MLB career and will come off the bench for the Phillies.
The one thing Orioles almost never have is a reliable starting rotation and it’s what always separates them from being a true contender,even if they have enough offense. The acquisition of Jeremy Hellickson bolsters their rotation a bit, but not by a lot. Hellickson isn’t having a great season, currently 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts with the Phillies, but has been better in June-July, allowing three runs or less in six of his last nine starts.
The way Hellickson had been pitching this year, there was doubt the Phillies would be able to move him, so kudos to Matt Klentak for getting it done. Combined with the international signing money the Phillies received from the Washington Nationals, they have added $1 million so they will start with $5.75 million. Look for Jake Thompson to take Hellickson’s spot in the rotation, plus, the Phillies still have one spot left in fill in the bullpen after the trade.