Filed:January 28th, 2009
The Cubs took another step in reshaping their 2009 roster this afternoon, trading Ronny Cedeno and recently acquired Garrett Olson for Mariners swingman Aaron Heilman.
You'll hear no complaints from me. Regular readers here know that I'm no fan of Ronny Cedeno, to put it kindly. As I've suggested on a number of occasions this offseason that the Cubs grab Aaron Heilman, this deal is killing a few birds with one stone.
Don't get me wrong, there are concerns with the acquisition. Frankly, when you consider that the Cubs effectively gave up Felix Pie, Cedeno, and Olson for Heilman, the cost begins to look a bit steep.
There is the question of who'll replace Cedeno for defensive substitutions at short, which the Cubs are looking to address, reporting making inquiries into the availability of Juan Uribe. That's a problem and Heilman was, well...just awful last season, sporting a huge 1.59 WHIP, and 5.21 ERA.
Some have suggested that an injury to his knee affected his location, so one has at least reason to hope that he'll bounce back to somewhere near his career-best 2007 season.
However, Heilman is a very good reliever normally, able to be used in either a late-inning setup role, or that Marmol-esque middle-innings eater and I do expect to see him in the 'pen, although the Cubs indicated that they're not sure on how to best use him.. From Randy Bush:
"Our scouts think he's a guy that can start or pitch effectively out of the bullpen. We'll let our coaching staff determine what his best role will be."
We'll see. Either way, Heilman should produce the kind of pitching depth that Lou Piniella might actually use. While Olson certainly looked to be at least an adequate fifth starter candidate, he certainly didn't appear to be a Lou guy.
As such, it was difficult to imagine him doing more than laboring in AAA for the season, or getting flipped as part of a bigger deal. Heilman is someone that Hendry has been reported to have interest in for some time, so if he's at all capable, I expect Lou to give him the ball often.
As for Ronny, well, good riddance. The Cubs gave him more than enough opportunities to grab a starting job, and he was never able to do so. Too many mental lapses, too many worst moment bad plays, and too many bad at-bats kept him off the field, and I suspect in Lou Piniella's dog house.
I feel for Mariner fans. Just when you finally get rid of Willie Bloomquist, you get Ronny Cedeno pushed upon you.
Well, at least it should be a good deal for the Cubs.