The pitcher's decision is complicated. If it were any other offseason, Hellickson would jump at a $17.2 million salary for one season. But the free-agent market for starting pitchers is so unimpressive and teams are always willing to spend on reliable rotation arms. That is what could compel Hellickson, whose agent is Scott Boras, to seek a multi-year deal elsewhere with a larger guarantee but smaller annual average salary.

Then again, teams could be reluctant to extend a multi-year deal while also surrendering a draft pick to sign Hellickson, a pitcher who has been good but not great. Hellickson, at the end of last season, said stability was important to him. He has pitched for three teams in three seasons. He has until Nov. 14 to accept the Phillies' offer.

But the draft pick, which would be somewhere at the end of the first round in the 20s, is valuable to a rebuilding club. It could provide the Phillies approximately $2 million in additional bonus money to spend on amateur talent. Major League Baseball has placed restrictions on amateur spending, so teams have prioritized all possible ways to increase the pool.

Hellickson, 29, tied a career high with 189 innings in 2016. His 154 strikeouts were a career best. He posted a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and made $7 million. The Phillies acquired him last winter from Arizona for a low-level minor leaguer.