A lot of the Phillies moves up to this point have made sense for the team. Have the aging veterans that were an important piece of the Phillies past success leave the team to pave the way for the next wave of success for the team. One by one we bid goodbye to important pieces of the 2008 World Series victory.
Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Chooch, all gone now and the team got a lot younger in the process.
We needed something to build on in 2017, but so far all we have to show for the hot stove is the pickup with Howie Kendrick who himself is an aging veteran that just happened to have a really bad year last year, and we’ve offered a $17.5M contract to a pitcher who we liked, but really only wanted to offer him that huge one year deal on the premise that he would refuse it and go to free agency.
Jeremy Hellickson wanted to test the waters of free agency. He couldn’t lose in this scenario. The Phillies offer him a huge chunk of change to stay with the team for 1 season, meanwhile he can get his ‘super agent’, Scott Boras, to find him a new team for a multi-year deal. Well, no team was real interested in Hellickson for a multi-year deal, so he keeps the Phillies overpayment for 2017. Somehow that doesn’t seem right, how can the player lose in that situation? The Phillies should get a 20-30 percent discount off the original offer.
A post in the baseball website, Fangraphs.com, says that Hellickson didn’t really improve all that much last year. How does a mediocre pitcher command such a high salary of $17.5M? Up to this point in his career, Hellickson hadn’t even earned $17M in his total career salary. I know it’s free agent baseball, but this is kind of ridiculous and the fact that no other team was willing to pay for mediocrity for a multi-year deal is proof of that.
Matt Klentak, Phillies GM, said he was happy either way. If Hellickson stayed and took the huge one-year deal from the Phils, or he left and the Phils got a draft pick for him. That doesn’t sound like a strategist to me, and this last two weeks in the Phillies off-season feels like they have taken a couple steps back in the rebuild process.