While it may seem a bit implausible at first glance, Jeremy Hellickson could fit very nicely into this rotation. Taking into account Yovani Gallardo and probably Marco Estrada and Mike Fiers as starters, the rest of the rotation is a mystery. Well, with Hellickson it wouldn’t have to be. Now, the grand question is, who would we trade in return for Hellickson? It’s clear that Tampa Bay knows he has value and with their already stacked rotation, they have a bargaining chip for some much needed offense. What do the Brewers need? Solid starting pitching. The Rays have been somewhat hush-hush about trading anyone, but Hellickson’s name has come up the most.
Who we should trade is someone we here at Reviewing the Brew have been discussing throughout the season. That person is none other than Corey Hart.
This honestly could be a trade to benefit both parties. Let’s take a look at how it would benefit the Rays first.
As most Rays’ fans know, the number one thing they need is offense. Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist have been carrying that load by themselves for awhile and with B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena free agents it truly leaves them alone. Desmond Jennings shows some promise, but other than that, there really isn’t a solid bat in this line-up. Not to mention the Rays are confident enough in other young guys like Alex Cobb and Matt Moore, aside from the obvious David Price and James Shields, that they can make Hellickson a valued asset on the market.
Hart’s versatility, while it does have some issues, would be a huge upside for the Rays. Manager Joe Maddon already likes to toy around with players in different positions, so Hart’s case would fit perfectly there.
Here are Hart’s 2012 numbers:
- Offense: .270/.334/.507 slash line, 30 HRs, 83 RBIs, 91 runs scored, 39 XBH
- Defense at first base: 849.1 innings, -3.9 UZR, 4 errors, 64 assists, 67 double plays, .995 fielding percentage
- Defense in right field: 408 innings, -1.3 UZR, 2 errors, .976 fielding percentage
So while Hart isn’t exactly perfect at defense, he still puts up some pretty great offensive numbers that the Rays know they need. Would Hart be the perfect solution for the Rays to complement their pitching? No, but he’d be a huge step in the right direction.
Now, let’s look at how Hellickson could help the Brewers.
As Brewers’ fans, we know that our starting rotation is really only solidified by Gallardo. We did see good things from Estrada and Fiers, but the reality is, that was only one year. Nobody knows how they would do next year. That’s why Hellickson fits into this rotation. He’s young, has experience and some good stuff, though let’s be honest, it isn’t the best. He’s not a strike-out pitcher, he has trouble with walking batters, but always finds a way out of a jam. He’d be a solid two or three in this rotation and could fully develop into possibly an elite arm someday and Milwaukee would be the perfect place for that to happen.
Of course, trading for Hart, Hellickson might come with a few minor league players which in the end, this would be a great trade for both sides.
Here are Hellickson’s 2012 numbers:
- 31 starts: 10 wins, 11 losses, 3.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 177 innings pitched, 125 strikeouts, 59 walks, opponent’s slash line of .244/.307/.402
Hellickson has trouble with runners getting on, but it’s not that concerning as he usually finds his way out like Harry Houdini. That said, he’s the victim of bad run support, as are most pitchers with a lackluster offense, so don’t let the win-loss column throw you off. He’d be a solid fit in this rotation.
Now, is this trade even an idea in the minds of the owners? I highly doubt it, but it’s one that should be considered. It’s not as if I want Hart gone and out of Milwaukee for good, but if the Brewers have an opportunity to bring in someone who down the long road can give us solid production pitching wise, then it’s a good deal. We have a ton of offense as well, so trading Hart would not hurt us in that department. Who knows though, anything is possible in baseball.