Aaron Heilman Gets New Start
From the “Where They Are Now” file …
After spending 2010 in Arizona’s bullpen, Aaron Heilman finally became a free agent and embarked on finding a team that would give him a chance to be a starter.
Heilman spent the entire winter evaluating the offers of various suitors, and wound up right back in Arizona — where the Diamondbacks are giving him a legitimate shot at a rotation spot.
Hat tip to my tweet buddy @citycynic.
If you are a longtime, loyal reader of MetsToday then you know my feelings regarding Heilman as a starting pitcher. If you’re not familiar with my stance, check out the links in my argument earlier this winter to consider him as a candidate for the Mets rotation.
Though the D-Backs have promised Heilman a legit shot at starting, and both manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers insist that the winners of the last two starting spots will not be affected by contracts and their associated finances, it would seem that Heilman has an uphill battle. He is one of three candidates for the two open spots, in competition with lefty Zach Duke — who has a one-year, $4.25M guaranteed contract — and Armando Galarraga, the nearly-no-hit artist who has a $2.3M deal. Youngster Barry Enright — who was 6-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 17 starts last year — also is in the running.
According to reports from the Cactus League, Heilman impressed in his first outing of the spring. We’ll see what happens over the next four weeks.
Galarraga’s contract is not guaranteed, and Enright was brought up from AA last year, so he could use some AAA time to develop. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade or two if they all do well.