Cubs and Ms Swap Disappointments

A.k.a. This good move stuff takes some getting used.
A.k.a. Heilman and Olson are racking up the frequent flier miles.

Today the Mariners potentially solved their glut of Major League back-rotation starting pitchers by shipping off Aaron Heilman, acquired from the Mets earlier in the winter in the J.J. Putz blockbuster. Heilman is now on his way to the Cubs of Chicago in exchange for infielder Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson, who himself was just recently acquired from Baltimore for outfielder Felix Pie.

From the Mariners perspective, this could not have worked out much better for them. Heilman was going to be hard pressed to make any impact on the big league team given his position of wanting to start, but not being good enough to do so. In exchange for him, the Mariners get Ronny Cedeno whom the Cubs have soured on, but has a phenomenal minor league track record as both a hitter and a defender and Garrett Olson who boils down to being a lefty, much younger, version of Heilman, albeit with less Major League success, but one with options left that allows the Mariners to give him some more seasoning down in Triple-A while they do their best to move Carlos Silva or Jarrod Washburn out of the way.

For the Cubs, well, they managed to clear some room on their 40-man roster I suppose. Heilman is probably a better option for 2009 and can serve as a swingman on the staff, moving in and out of the rotation as need be, but that is the best that I can come up with for them. There’s no doubt that this trade is a win for the Mariners, and the best that I can give the Cubs is a pass. They have turned Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno, two huge prospects as little as a year ago, into Aaron Heilman.

And no, that is not going to help them get Jake Peavy. Any rebuilding team would be far more interested in Cedeno and Olson than Heilman.

Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 years ago

The Cub’s transmuted a SS out of options and likely headed for a straight out release into a pitcher with perceived upside. They turned nothing into something. Nothing to the Cubs – something for the Orioles and Mariners.

Felix was in a similar situation given his service time. Good trade for both Baltimore and Seattle and I think the Cubs did well considering they might have not recognize any players in return if they held on much longer. The current and short-term roster wasn’t going to give these guys much if any playing time.

Aaron Heilman could be the best 5th starter in the NL if he pitches as once expected. The Cub’s 5th starter last year was Jason Marquis. I suspect Aaron’s salary is more economical in dollars and years.

If Sean Marshall gets the 5th spot in the rotation – the Cub’s have more pitching depth in the swing men that could be Heilman and Gaudin. Though Cotts might be the only lefty in the bullpen – less Mike Stanton [gulp] makes the 25 man roster.

The more pitching the better. For future trade value or simply injury contingencies.

The Cub’s environment will not be conducive to on the job training until after the World Series Championship.