In advance of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Marlins considered Jeremy Hellickson a “back-end” of the rotation starter, according to Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman.
Miami wasn’t alone, as several clubs reportedly considered turning to Hellickson to upgrade their rotation but instead sought depth elsewhere. For the Marlins, that meant adding Andrew Cashner in the deal that sent first-round draft pick Josh Naylor to San Diego.
Cashner, who is expected to become a free agent at the end of the season, hasn’t pitched well since joining the Marlins. Over 43.2 innings, he’s pitched to a 6.18 ERA and 4.46 FIP.
Philadelphia reportedly set a high asking price for Hellickson, who like Cashner is an impending free agent. At one point before the deadline, the Phillies were reportedly seeking two top-10 prospects.
Though the Marlins and other clubs seeking pitching depth didn’t think as highly of Hellickson, he has proven to be more consistent. Over 181.1 innings with the Phillies, he’s pitched to a 3.57 ERA and 4.00 FIP.
While the Marlins considered Hellickson a slight upgrade to the back of their rotation, Cashner must have been viewed in a comparable way. But you can’t fault the Marlins for pursuing Cashner, who was viewed as one of the top available starters in advance of the deadline.
Philadelphia is reportedly considering making Hellickson a qualifying offer, so if he signs elsewhere, they will still be compensated.
Hellickson might not have helped the Marlins earn a Wild Card spot, but if anything, he might have been more consistent than Cashner and has experience pitching in the National League East.