Or is it Jeremy Hellickson that the Jays are after?

Jeremy Hellickson
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Heyman, in one of the most pointless tweets you’ll ever see (which is a hell of an accomplishment!), tells us that the Jays have been trying to deal for Ervin Santana (who I just wrote about), but that the Twins like him and may keep him.

Hey, cool. Thanks, Jon.

But OK, so maybe that’s not where the Jays find themselves a starting pitcher. Maybe they look to Philadelphia and surprisingly not-all-that-crappy Jeremy Hellickson. Jon Morosi tweets that the former Rays pitcher is still being discussed by Toronto brass, which… sure. OK.

Hellickson is in a different situation, contractually, than Santana, as he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year. But he is similar to Santana in that he’s maybe better than you suspect. He has better strikeout and walk rates than Santana — albeit pitching in the National League — and has been just as valuable by fWAR, with an ERA of 3.70 and an xFIP that looks better than his FIP because he’s been a little bit homer prone.

I dunno. He’s a pitcher! And that’s what they need! And he’s also got all that wholly overrated AL East experience from his time in Tampa Bay.

Am I selling him a little short with that description? Maybe.

Hellickson has had a better-than-usual year when it comes to suppressing hard contact, which may be a reflection of some changes in his pitch usage this season, as he’s dialed back the number of fastballs he throws, and to a lesser extent his curveball usage, adding a cutter to his mix and doubling the use of his sinker (per Brooks).

In other words, maybe he really is improved from the guy who struggled in his last couple seasons with the Rays and his one year in Arizona.
Is he enough of an upgrade on Drew Hutchison to justify what the Jays would have to give up in order to get him, though? Maybe not, but maybe that’s not the point, given the Jays’ scary lack of depth behind their front five (one of whom, many believe — though I’m still not yet sure I’m one of them — could end up in the ‘pen sooner than later).
Nobody’s suggested what the proposed return might be yet — or nobody credible at least — so there isn’t a whole lot to this until it either happens or it doesn’t. 
Trade deadline. WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!