Tigers Want Heilman

Just saw this on Gotham Baseball:

According to a MLB executive familiar with the “talks” (which no one will confirm are actually going on), no deal is going to happen with the Tigers (for Marcus Thames) unless the Mets take Jorge Sosa off the table and put Aaron Heilman on.

The Mets, given the current status of their roster, do not seem willing to trade any healthy players at the current time. Also, Heilman is “not available”, according to one team insider.

Clearly, the Tigers are high on crack. Why would the Mets give up one of the best setup relievers in MLB over the last two and half seasons in return for a fourth (or fifth) outfielder who strikes out 25% of the time?

Detroit can keep Thames around for dust gathering. We’ll look elsewhere, thank you.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten March 7, 2008 at 5:06 am
    No expletive-deleted way. Heilman is untouchable . . . and if he thinks he’s getting shafted by the Mets for not being tried out as a starter, he’d be going to a staff that has Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, and Willis as four of their starting five. Fat chance of cracking that rotation.
  2. isuzudude March 7, 2008 at 8:26 am
    The author of that article on Gotham is Mark Healey, a guy I’ve never heard of. But somehow, he *supposedly* has enough connections to enlighten us with inside talks from an MLB executive. Can this be any more vague? I don’t know who would be more on crack…the Tigers, for asking for Heilman in a Thames trade, or us for believing Healey. I’d like to know how this guy has the scoop on this story over all the other Mets beat writers for the 30 or so newspapers in the tri-state area, as well as all the ‘experts’ from ESPN, FoxSports, SI.com, and MLBrumors. All we’ve heard all offseason is that Detroit is begging teams to take Thames or Inge off their hands in a trade, and suddenly now they think they can get top quality back in exchange? This really makes little sense. If true, obviously Omar needs to try elsewhere for his right-hand hitting 1B/OF…but excuse me if I take this rumor as “buzz baloney” for the time being.
  3. Walnutz15 March 7, 2008 at 8:48 am
    Mark Healey also told us all that “Jose Reyes wouldn’t be a Met by week’s end” — a couple of off-seasons ago.

    He also “reported” that Moises Alou actually signed with the Mets the winter before it happened….fine, maybe it was discussed at length — but he was reporting it a done deal.

    He’s come out with plenty of “scoops” that never materialized — and while I’ll be the first to admit, maybe he has his inside sources….most of his stuff is strategically timed to grab a bunch of hits on his Gotham Baseball website.

    Things 99% of the time never play out to what Healey “scoops” his readers on.

    And really, if the Tigers ever seriously ask for Heilman in return for Thames…..Minaya should literally laugh in their faces. That’s insane.

    Thames is the modern day version of Rob Deer. I could point Omar in the direction of more than a few guys that could pop out 15-20 homers while sacrificing every ounce of their BA and OBP in the process.

    Thames is a swing-out-the-shoes guess hitter….as evidenced by his lucky guess first-career-pitch HR off a fastball from Randy Johnson. He hasn’t gotten any better as a “hitter” since.

    I hope Omar doesn’t go this route. Especially if it means trading anything of actual value.

  4. joe March 7, 2008 at 9:15 am
    While I believe the Tigers are on crack thinking they can get Heilman, I don’t think it’s impossible for them to ask … it’s all about negotiation. They did manage to get Miguel Cabrera and D-Train for a slew of nobodies.

    I trust Healey’s sources to be legit, based on the people he gets for Gotham Media — you have to know people to get the interviews he gets.

    As for whether his “scoops” materialize … well, let’s hope this one doesn’t. I find it easier to believe that the Tigers would ask for Heilman than some far-out speculation that the Mets are in the market for Paul Konerko (as Ken Rosenthal suggests).

    Which brings me back to my original argument at the beginning of the winter … when a writer dreams up some wild-eyed idea, based on nothing other than imagination (i.e., Konerko to the Mets), it should not be termed “buzz” and should not become a rumor — it’s as legit as two guys talking fantasy trades at a pub.

    I doubt highly that Healey made up the story that the Tigers want Heilman. And assuming Omar is smart enough to hold Heilman back, we’ll never know for sure.

  5. isuzudude March 7, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Excerpt reads as follows:
    “…the Tigers have had general discussions with the Chicago Cubs about acquiring bullpen help, according to one industry executive. The Cubs have considered adding a right-handed hitter who is capable of playing centerfield [Brandon Inge]. Marcus Thames may also draw interest from teams seeking a right-handed power hitter who can play the corner outfield positions and first base. (The New York Mets have been searching for such a player.) Leyland, though, has called Thames “a huge part of our team,” diminishing the odds he will be traded.”

    I’ve also read that the Tigers are interested in Ryan Dempster, implying a Dempster for Inge swap is possible.

    If we are to take Leyland’s quote seriously, than I don’t think a Thames for Jorge Sosa trade is likely. As ridiculous as it may sound, perhaps the Tigers really are asking for Heilman in a Thames deal. Considering Detroit would rather trade Inge than Thames (mostly because of Inge’s contract, I’d imagine), and could get Dempster in return from Chicago, then the Mets would have to offer someone significantly better to Detroit for Thames. Thus, Heilman. Hence, Omar: Jason Botts, Matt Murton, and Jay Payton are still available. Move on to Plan B.

  6. Walnutz15 March 7, 2008 at 9:46 am
    The only “PK” that I’d rather see on the Mets, other than myself — is Paul Konerko.

    ….But that ain’t happenin’ either.

    I hear ya, Joe. Don’t doubt that the Tigers might ask for Heilman…or that Healey has his inside sources…just that alot of the stuff he brings to the forefront is interesting.

    Not saying that the stuff didn’t occur….or that it was never discussed in the form of a “in the know” word of mouth type thing — but his stuff rarely materializes. Leading back to what you’ve said about things being “buzz” and “rumors”….I’ve just seen him put things out there too many times as “on the doorstep” — when in actuality, things are more “putting your car in park and contemplating going up the walkway”…..

    Alot of things can change between the car and the way to the doorbell. And that’s what people need to know in reading his website.

    Too many hear “buzz” or “chatter” and think it’s automatically going to lead into what the Mets do.

  7. joe March 7, 2008 at 9:57 am
    I’d love to see Marcus Thames be a “huge” part of a team that includes Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, and Gary Sheffield. Whatever … sounds like a LOT of hype to make sure they get a warm body in return for their free-swinging scrap heap object. I wonder if the Tigers are setting the bar at Heilman in as a way to entice the Mets into trading him for Inge? (Also, no thanks)

    Matt Murton … I like that idea.

  8. Walnutz15 March 7, 2008 at 10:47 am
    Matt Murton was who I hinted at over on Scout — ever since the days of that bunk “Endy Chavez for Jay Marquis” trade rumor.

    Good talk.

    I love the guy, and it’s been rumored in the past that Sweet Lou isn’t as enthralled.

    Wish we could pick this guy up. I think he’d help out.

  9. isuzudude March 7, 2008 at 11:11 am
    The one problem could be that the Cubs are looking for pretty much the same thing we are – a right-hand hitting OF. At least, that’s according to the rumor mill that generated the Dempster-for-Inge buzz. So my question is, what can the Mets offer the Cubs that interests them enough to part with Murton?
  10. whatdatmean March 7, 2008 at 11:38 am
    When you hear about the cubs, they need a backup CF option, who can also handle the corners, as well as BP depth. Also, a P that can fill in the blanks for what they lose in a rumored trade for Roberts or Byrd.
    Endy, Sosa, & Show all seem to fit the bill. IMO DeRosa or Murton would be perfect! It would be 2 of those 3 or 1+ an OK prospect. Either would be good. DeRosa also adds IF depth as he plays all positions well. I love murton’s upside though. The trade would really be tfor a 4th OF’r covering for Alou when inj and for church against tough lefties.

    I like these 2 options better than Thames[K machine] or Nady[likely to cost too much]. Inge[high contract] & Botts[unproven] are both interesting.
    I would like to also check in on Huff, Gibbons, Payton, Mora, & Millar in Balt, as they are unloading their entire team.
    I think the target needs to be a guy who CAN be everyday this year, and be a 4th OF’r next year or a decent 1B fallback plan for next year.

  11. Micalpalyn March 8, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    its the 3rd week of Spr training. register and figueroa look like world eaters right now. might be the best met BP omar has had. The problem is el Duque’s health is a crap shoot. Sanchez, and the aforementioned are hardly known quantities.

    If not for that I WOULD deal heilman for Thames, but I’d need a top 5 prospect back too.

  12. isuzudude March 8, 2008 at 3:33 pm
    Heilman = potential starter under contract thru 2011
    Thames = part-time scrub who’s a FA after this season

    Even with a top prospect, no way would I deal Heilman for Thames, no matter how stacked our bullpen is. Heilman wasn’t even worth Johan or Blanton. Now, for Omar to send him packing for Thames would be an absolute shocker.