ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Nearly three days ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Orioles made a surprising move, acquiring right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, minor league left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and international signing bonus slots.
The Phillies are also sending money to the Orioles. Hellickson is owed a little more than a third of his $17.2 million salary for 2017.
“Jeremy Hellickson is a solid, dependable, veteran Major League starter who knows how to win in the American League. He should provide some quality innings for the Orioles,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette wrote in a text message.
The Orioles need another starting pitcher, and though he’s not signed beyond this year, Hellickson is a proven innings-eater. He was scratched from his scheduled July 28 start in Philadelphia.
Hellickson is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA this season, and in eight major league seasons with the Phillies, Tampa Bay and Arizona, he’s 67-63 with a 3.98 ERA.
Kim, who had a fine first year in the U.S. in 2016, batting .302 with a .382 on-base percentage, slumped badly this season. The South Korean hit just .232 with a home run and 10 RBIs.
Cleavinger, who was invited to the Orioles’ Sarasota, Fla. minicamp in January, was 2-4 with a 6.28 ERA with Double-A Bowie this season. He was the Orioles’ third round draft pick in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Orioles continue to try and make additional deals before 4 p.m. deadline on July 31.
It’s not known when Hellickson will pitch for the Orioles, who are certainly in need of improved starting pitching.
Chris Tillman allowed eight runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings in the Orioles’ 8-2 loss to the Texas Rangers before 36,270 at Globe Life Park July 28.
Most of the fans were presumably on hand to see Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, who had two hits and now has 2,998 in his glorious major league career.
Beltre is now 10-for-21 against the right-handed Tillman.
"It was inconsistent. I could never get in any kind of rhythm," Tillman said. "Execute one pitch then try to throw the same pitch the next pitch and it wasn't there. I just have to be more consistent in my delivery and in my pitches and I think we'll see the results I had the last one."
The Orioles, who at 48-54 have lost three straight, were behind quickly. Texas center fielder Nomar Mazara, who had three doubles, drove in two runs with a double in the first inning.
Beltre, who followed him, grounded out to second for the first out. But Beltre was involved in subsequent scoring. After shortstop Elvis Andrus hit a two-run home run in the third, Mazara doubled, and after a Tillman wild pitch, scored on Beltre’s broken-bat flare to center.
In the fifth, Beltre singled up the middle, again scoring Mazara, who doubled and advanced to third on Tillman’s second wild pitch.
"He wasn’t very good. His command wasn’t there from the get-go," manager Buck Showalter said of Tillman. "He survived a little bit with a changeup and a slider, but that’s about it. I’m sure we’ll look back through it and see how many times he missed location with a fastball. That’s something he’s been doing a better job with -- until tonight."
Beltre popped to first in the seventh.
The Orioles were held in check by Texas right-hander Andrew Cashner, who allowed only second baseman Jonathan Schoop’s 23rd home run of the season in the sixth, and five hits in seven innings.
Orioles catcher Welington Castillo, whose name has been mentioned in trade chatter, had a difficult night catching Tillman.
"It’s hard but that’s part of the business. I have stuff to do," Castillo said of the trade talks. "I don’t worry about that. I just control what I can control. Honestly if you start to pay attention to the rumors and if your name is in the rumors you can’t control that. You just got to come here every day and prepare the best you can to win the games. If it happens, it happens."
NOTES: Infielder Ryan Flaherty and outfielder Anthony Santander have yet to play a full rehab game for Double-A Bowie. Their first one was suspended in the fourth inning on July 27 by rain, and the resumption of that one and the scheduled game of July 28, were rained out. The Baysox will try and play two July 29. … RHPs Kevin Gausman (7-7, 5.79) and Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53).