ARLINGTON -- Are the Orioles buyers or sellers? That's been one of the biggest questions surrounding this Baltimore club the past few weeks as rumors have swirled that numerous players are available to be traded, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette saying last week that the O's are still trying to win this season.
On Friday, Duquette showed his hand, trading for Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson in an effort to boost an underperforming rotation.
Orioles acquire Jeremy Hellickson for Hyun Soo Kim and AA pitcher
Hellickson -- who was scratched Friday due to inclement weather and trade speculation -- gives a thin Orioles pitching staff another arm without sacrificing any top prospects. The Orioles, who also received cash considerations in the deal, sent outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and international amateur signing bonus pool space to the Phillies.
The Orioles' rotation, which saw Chris Tillman give up eight runs in Friday's 8-2 loss to the Rangers, has struggled this season. The only starter with an ERA under 5.00 is Dylan Bundy (4.53) as Baltimore is 6 1/2 games out of the American League Wild Card race.
It's possible the O's also trade players, with their bullpen -- closer Zach Britton and setup man Brad Brach -- capable of bringing back a nice haul and bolstering the team's core talent group sooner rather than later.
The last-place Phillies had been trying to trade Hellickson, who will be a free agent following the season, for quite some time. He is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts. He also makes $17.2 million, but the Phillies will pay some of the remaining salary.
Hellickson will be inserted immediately into the O's rotation, though who he replaces is an interesting case. While Tillman has the rotation's highest ERA at 7.65, Ubaldo Jimenez has been inconsistent and is in the final year of a four-year, $50 million deal.
The 30-year-old Hellickson is familiar with the American League East, having come up through the Rays' system. In five seasons with Tampa Bay, Hellickson posted a 3.78 ERA.
Brittany Ghiroli/

Comments are closed.