Heilman Traded to Cubs

Aaron Heilman has been traded to the Cubs in exchange for Garrett Olson and Ronny Cedeno.

Well that was quick … guess I can cancel my order for a Seattle Mariners hat. I could have gotten away with that too — rooting for the M’s. I don’t know how I can root for the Cubs, though.

Interestingly, Heilman brought the Mariners a fairly accomplished, young, lefthanded starter and a potential starting shortstop or second baseman. Strange that the Mets had to add 22 people to him to get a 32-year-old reliever.

Now, the question is, will Heilman get his chance to win a starting rotation spot? The Cubs have Sean Marshall penciled in, but he was going to compete with the now-departed Olson. Would Lou Piniella give Heilman a shot to compete with Marshall? Or does he view Heilman as another setup guy to team with Kevin Gregg, Jeff Samardzija, and Chad Gaudin?

Or, will this acquisition lead to ANOTHER deal, possibly one that sends Jake Peavy from San Diego to Chicago? Should be interesting to follow.

In any case, Heilman looks now to be in a position to either make the Mets look really bad, or really smart, and to do it much too close to “home”.

By the way, at the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner last Sunday, Heilman took out this ad:

An Appreciation

Playing at Shea
before you folks
was an experience
I always will savor

Thank you for support

— Aaron Heilman

Congratulations to all award winners this evening

(Hat tip to ‘Ropolitans)

Classy. It’s going to be hard for me not to root for him as a Cub.

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. Timo January 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm
    So typical! I can’t believe that (i mean i can but don’t want to believe it). The M’s still have a long way to go but it’s a good start. Now, the Cubs have major depth in pitching. AH can be a spot starter or middle reliever. Kudos to the Cubs for pulling the trigger on this deal!
    Now, let’s hope this embarrasses the Mets front office and they start making a deal to mask this trade. LIKE GET MANNY!

    Later, Timo

  2. isuzudude January 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm
    I don’t get it. If the Mets had traded Heilman for Cedeno and Olson I’m sure they would have been hammered, but the Mariners do it and they’re praised? Cedeno is a no-hit middle IF and Olson can only be described as “fairly accomplished” at the minor league level. I see that Seattle is looking more towards the future, so perhaps for them trading a soon-to-be 30 year old arbitration-bound pitcher is a wise idea for two kids who have done diddly-squat at the major league level. But the Mets cannot be counted as being in the same boat, and regardless of the “22” other peices the Mets have to cough up along with Heilman to get Putz, that deal was still a good one. Endy Chavez and Joe Smith were not winning the Mets any championships, and Ezequiel Carrera, Michel Cleto, Mike Carp and company were not 5-star prospects by any stretch of the imagination. It’s also unfortunate that Sean Green and Jeremy Reed are already looking like chopped liver in some people’s eyes.

    I agree that Heilman has a much better chance at seeking retribution against the Mets now that he’s back in the NL, and I think the Cubs made a heck of a deal getting a potential #5 starter, middle reliever, and closing candidate with Kerry Wood now in Cleveland. But in my opinion, you look at the scrap heap of players Seattle has gotten because of their trades this offseason, and I’d still rather JJ Putz over the lot of them.

  3. joe January 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm
    ‘dude, perhaps I should have clarified my point. I’m not saying the Mets should have traded Heilman for Cedeno and Olson. What I’m saying is, how is it that the Mets needed to add SO MUCH to package centered around Heilman to get Putz plus two scrubs, and the Ms can turn around Heilman on his own in return for two players who will step right in and contribute?

    I don’t want to hear about Sean Green and Jeremy Reed — they may as well be Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson. Point is, the Mets traded Heilman AND Endy AND Joe Smith AND four prospects AND he had to get the Indians involved for basically one guy who may or may not be that much more effective than Heilman in 2009. (Yes, I expect Putz to be lights out. But will he be healthy? Will he be able to handle NY? Will Heilman be as bad in ’09 as he was in ’08?)

    I wouldn’t belabor the point except that right after the Putz trade, Omar Minaya had to make a public proclamation about how great and deep the Mets’ prospects are — he basically pointed to that trade as evidence to “stick it” to everyone criticizing Tony Bernazard’s abysmal organization.

  4. nwaldrop January 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm
    The Mets should NOT have traded Joe Smith. He was too valuable and too young to go anywhere. But Heilman LIKE Castillo needed to go. The numbers can’t justify either of them staying. Hoping they’ll get better won’t do it either. Get rid of Castillo at ANY price. I know I’m negative but look where Castillo and Heilman got us last year. Losing to the Marlins during the last game of the season. Delgado is a snake indeed. Look elsewhere for your snakes…
  5. joe January 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm
    Hey nwaldrop – have to agree on Smith, 100%. That’s what gets my goat …. if the Mets’ prospects were so darn “valuable”, why did they have to include Smith in the deal?

    Heilman definitely had an awful year last season, but I still believe his best place is as a starter. I don’t think he’ll be an All-Star for the Cubs, but if he gets a rotation spot I can definitely see a 10-12 win, 190 IP season — which is exactly what the Mets need at the back end.

    Delgado ….. ooooh boy …. will we get Jekyll or Hyde in ’09?