Aaron Heilman Playing Musical Chairs

Travis MillerAnalyst IJanuary 28, 2009

It'll be okay, big guy. The game will be over soon. I'm sure somebody wants you.

Aaron Heilman was traded to the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, in a move sending the ex-Seattle Mariner (I'm funny) packing after just a month and a half with the club.

The Mariners acquired youngsters Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson in return.

Cedeno, 25, will add depth to the Mariners' bench and perhaps have a chance at winning a starting middle-infield spot in spring training. Olson, also 25, is a left-handed pitcher who will compete for the No. 5 spot in the Mariners' rotation.

Olson was with the Cubs for less time than Heilman was in Seattle, having been acquired from Baltimore on Jan. 18 in return for Felix Pie.

Heilman's 2008 numbers with the Mets include 78 appearances, all out of the bullpen, with a 5.21 earned run average, five blown saves, and eight losses. He was traded from New York in mid-December in the 12-player J.J. Putz deal.

Heilman is still looking for a starting gig, but with an exceptional Cubs' rotation, it will be difficult for him to win a spot in the rotation in spring training.

Sean Marshall and Heilman's fellow Notre Dame alum Jeff Samardzija are front-runners for the No. 5 spot behind Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster, and Ted Lilly.

With only one lefty among the aforementioned four starters and Samardzija's bullpen success, Marshall should be a favorite to get the nod. Heilman won't be a happy camper, but could get a chance if any of the injury-prone starters go down or if Marshall doesn't perform.

Olson was thought to be a piece to the Jake Peavy puzzle, but with him headed out of Chicago, the Cubs might finally be letting the Peavy ship sail.

Unless the Padres decided they want Heilman now! Is Chicago just another connecting flight for Heilman?

Probably not, considering he's the ripe old age of 30, but it's fun to speculate. He's been through hell in his stay in Queens and deserves a chance at starting somewhere to prove us haters wrong.