Friday night the Rays made their first trade of the off-season as they sent 2011 Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Hellickson, to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two prospects. There had been talk of moving Hellickson this off-season and over the course of the last week the rumors were heating up culminating to his inevitable trade Friday night. In return, the Rays received INF Andrew Velazquez, 20, and OF Justin Williams, 19, from the Diamondbacks farm system.
Hellickson, who was limited to just 13 starts in 2014 due to recovering from minor elbow surgery, finished with a 1-5 record and a 4.52 ERA. Hellickson finishes his career in a Rays uniform amassing a 40-36 record and 3.78 ERA over the course of five seasons that saw him not only win the AL ROY award in 2011 but also a Gold Glove in 2012. Diamondback’s GM Dave Stewart has already said Hellickson will move right into the No. 2 or 3 spot in the rotation for Arizona in 2015.
Velazquez was named Midwest League Prospect of the Year in 2014 for the Diamondbacks and was voted the 12th best prospect in their organization. He lead the Midwest League with 50 stolen bases, 94 runs, and 15 triples while hitting .290 in 134 games.
Williams won the Pioneer League batting crown in 2014 hitting .386 in 189 at bats for Missoula and was voted the 14th best prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system.