Detroit Tigers: Five Starting Pitching Trades

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Apr 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey (37) walks off the field after being relieved in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey (37) walks off the field after being relieved in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Jeremy Hellickson

Like the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies are going nowhere fast. The Phillies are just three games out of first at 16-13, but the team’s -27 run differential is a significant eye-sore.

Along with Hellickson, veterans like Ryan Howard, Peter Bourjos, Carlos Ruiz and David Hernandez could be dealt before the deadline should Philadelphia falter.

Currently the team’s ace, Hellickson has a 4.88 ERA (4.93 FIP) in six starts. His numbers aren’t anything to write home about, but he has a track record of being a solid pitcher in the big leagues.

The 29-year-old won Rookie of the Year honors in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays, posting 13 wins and a 2.95 ERA in 189 innings pitched.

In the four years since that season, the starter has averaged an 8-10 record per season with a 4.30 ERA (4.39 FIP).

On an expiring contract and on a potentially bad team, Hellickson is exactly the kind of innings eating, back-of-the-rotation starter that the Tigers need. He’d essentially fill the role Detroit’s brass hoped Mike Pelfrey would fill.

In terms of a return, the Phillies could use help in the outfield, at both middle infield positions and in the pitching staff. A deal involving Hellickson for mid-level prospect and a lower level prospect could work. Philadelphia could also be intrigued by one of Detroit’s Triple-A outfielders like Tyler Collins or Wynton Bernard. Anthony Gose would also make sense when Cameron Maybin returns, though I’m not sure if Philadelphia would be interested.

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