Five Trade Deadline Targets For The Pittsburgh Pirates
Right-handed starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson
After a rough 2015 season, 29-year-old Jeremy Hellickson has bounced back with the Philadelphia Phillies this season. Hellickson is a free agent to be, therefor being a rental player. In turn, this should help drive his price down some between now and August 1st. Hellickson is one player that I full expect to be traded before the month’s end.
In 105 2/3 innings pitched this season Hellickson has posted a 3.92 ERA, 4.26 FIP, and a 3.90 xFIP. Hellickson’s 3.90 xFIP is the second best xFIP of his career, and he is averaging a career best 7.92 K/9. Jeremy Hellickson has also done a great job of pounding the strike zone this season as his 2.30 BB/9 is the best he has ever posted in a full Major League season.
Jeremy Hellickson is a player that the Pittsburgh Pirates had interest in when he was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the start of the 2015 season. For this reason, one could expect Neal Huntington to kick the tires on Hellickson once again.
The only major red flag on Jeremy Hellickson is his 1.36 HR/9, but he is currently pitching in a great hitters’ park in Philadelphia. A look at Hellickson’s splits shows that he has been better away from Citizens Bank Park this season. In Philadelphia opposing batters have a .327 wOBA against Hellickson, while that drops to .319 on the road.
The Philadelphia Phillies are a team that Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates have recently worked with. This past offseason, the Bucs traded starting pitcher Charlie Morton to the Phils. Therefor, a history exist between these two general managers. When you combine that with the Pirates’ past interest in Jeremy Hellickson, this is a trade target that makes a lot of sense.
Next: Another Left-Handed Starting Pitcher