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MLB roundup: Hellickson was right to accept qualifying offer; trade/signing rumors

After three consecutive seasons with 4.50-plus ERAs, Jeremy Hellickson posted a 3.71 ERA and 1.15 WHIP for the Phillies in 2016. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Evaluators and agents are fascinated by Jeremy Hellickson's decision to accept the $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Phillies, and they look at it like a science puzzle. In arguably the worst free-agent market for starting pitchers in recent memory, they wonder is it possible he could've gotten a three- or four-year deal for $12 to $13 million annually?

I think the answer is no, after hearing from a number of different people on the team side, because there continues to be general wariness over Hellickson despite his solid 2016 numbers (3.71 ERA, 1.15 WHIP).

The next-level metrics aren't as flattering, and Hellickson pitched in the NL East, which had four of the five lowest-scoring teams in the majors last season (including Hellickson's own team). In 2016, Hellickson made 16 starts against teams under .500 and posted a 2.36 ERA, with a 0.98 WHIP. Against teams .500 or better: a 5.22 ERA in 16 starts, with a 1.35 WHIP.