The Aaron Heilman era in Seattle didn’t last very long.
The former Met reliever was shipped away from the Pacific Northwest yesterday when the Mariners shipped the embattled reliever to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-hander Garrett Olson.
Actually, the trade brings the 30 year-old home since he grew up 140 miles away from Wrigley Field in Logansport, IN. He also went to nearby Notre Dame, often visiting Chicago.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Heilman to reporters in a conference call. “I always rooted for the Cubs growing up, and now to be a part of that organization, it’s going to be pretty special for me.”
His other dream to become a starter may also become a reality as Heilman will report to camp stretched out, in order to compete for the No. 5 spot in the Cubs rotation.
If he can nail down the spot, the Cubs may sport the best rotation in the National League with Heilman joining Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden. Otherwise, the team plans on using the righthander in the same role he had with the Mets.
“Our scouts think he’s a guy that can start or pitch effectively out of the bullpen,” Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush said to reporters. “We’ll let our coaching staff determine what his best role will be.”
Last season, Heilman was 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 78 relief appearances. He was shipped to Seattle in the 12-player J.J. Putz trade in December.