Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports hears that starter Jeremy Hellickson is leaning towards rejecting the Phillies’ $17.2 million qualifying offer to test the free agent market. Hellickson is represented by Scott Boras, so this is not particularly surprising.
Hellickson, 29, had a bounceback 2016 campaign after three rough years from 2013-15. He made 32 starts spanning 189 innings, compiling a 3.71 ERA and a 154/45 K/BB ratio. While the stats don’t scream “free agent payday,” this offseason’s free agent market is uniquely barren. As such, Hellickson is arguably the second-best starter available as I noted in my preview of the free agent starters.
If Hellickson does reject the Phillies’ QO, he’ll have draft pick compensation attached to him. That means his new team will have to forfeit a draft pick in order to sign him, which could serve as a detriment. Some players with QO compensation attached to them didn’t end up signing until late February ahead of this past season.
The deadline for players to decide whether to accept or reject their qualifying offers is next Monday, November 14.