Mariners Sign Aaron Heilman

The Mariners have signed Aaron Heilman to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the team announced. Frontline represents the 33-year-old right-hander.'s Jerry Crasnick first reported the move on Twitter.

Heilman spent the first half of the 2011 campaign with the Diamondbacks, who released him in July after he posted a 6.88 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 28.5% ground ball rate in 35 1/3 innings. He later signed minor league deals with the Phillies and Pirates, but didn't pitch at the Major League level after July 15th.

Though Heilman has never suited up for the Mariners in his nine-year career, he was involved in the three-way trade between the Mets, Mariners and Indians that took place three offseasons ago. The Mariners acquired him from the Mets in December of 2008 and flipped him to the Cubs for Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson the next month.

Safeco Field should limit the number of home runs Heilman surrenders in 2012. One fifth of fly balls against him left the yard in 2011, a major reason for his unsightly ERA. It's hard to argue with Jack Zduriencik's low-risk gamble on a durable pitcher who could see his numbers improve in Seattle.

26 Responses to Mariners Sign Aaron Heilman Leave a Reply

  1. nycub 4 years ago


  2. Louie Proudpoppa 4 years ago

    what? why, have u seen his era mariners?

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Reverse psychology homey..his propensity to give up runs will be used as test material for Wedge and his players. The day’s that Heilman pitches, class will be open and the subject will be “how to destroy a pitcher and put up 6 runs in 1 inning.” Consider Heilman a very expense rally tool. 

  3. nymets4581 4 years ago

    why anybody still signs this guy is beyond me

    • Lastings 4 years ago

      Perhaps he really boasts that complete-game one-hitter on his résumé…

    • BatteriesForRocker 4 years ago

      Hey, someone’s gotta give up the homeruns.

  4. It’s a minor league deal with no incentives, DOWNSIDE IS IMPOSSIBLE. If he’s bad he can be thrown away. If he’s good then the M’s get value for virtually zero cost.

    This is why it is pointless to have strong negative opinions on a minor league contract.

    • Donald Munson 4 years ago

      True, but for Mariners fans looking for something exciting to be done to shake up a lackluster team, this move like most of the M’s offseason, is as bland as can be.

      • For all that is GOOD in life, PLEASE be PATIENT! If he were making splashes by now, we will never get Fielder, and half the mariner fans would have something else to whine about.

        Do people not realize that attached to Fielder is a Price Tag, with a really long warranty, that is not valid…and a picture of Scott Boras implanted on it…

        Ok so that was dumb, but I AM ANNOYED at all of the negative opinions toward minor league moves. Do people not realize, that a good portion of our bullpen is made up of these moves, and this portion is some of our better pitchers!

        • Donald Munson 4 years ago

          The move doesn’t really anger or frustrate me, its a blah move that I don’t care either way. I don’t want them to sign Fielder. I don’t think he is worth the price tag. If the Mariners were one big bat away from contention I would be screaming for Fielder, but they are not. They have a couple terrific core pieces in Hernandez, Ackley and Pineda…but after that they have holes all over the place. I hope Guti returns to ’10 style, but thats a big iff, the much of the rest of the team is questionable. I don’t see the farm system providing much help in the next couple years either.

          Really all I am looking for is direction, whether it’s flat out rebuilding, aiming to win this year (which I don’t think is possible), or looking to win in 2013 or 2014 etc… Just show me some direction, because all it looks like from what I’ve witnessed is they want to stay about at their current win production and hope that maybe they luck out and a player such as Carp becomes a surprise star.

      • Not to mention, if he does make the 25 man roster, he takes up a spot that a young guy could play and gain experience.  While Heilman’s getting rocked…

        • In the case that Heilman makes his way to the big leagues and sucks there he is cut and the young guy takes his spot. Why is this even remotely difficult to understand?

  5. jephdood 4 years ago

    Maybe the Pitch-o-Matic used for BP is broken?

  6. Eric 4 years ago

    Good depth move for the bullpen. If he pitches well in spring training, he is a low cost veteran addition to the pen. If he pitches poorly, there is no risk to this deal so either he is released or he pitches at AAA Tacoma. Nothing wrong with this move.

  7. Mikeschoolerforever 4 years ago

    OH YES!!! this is the deal I’ve been waiting for. My wishlist for the Mariners is now complete.

  8. PennMariner 4 years ago

    Pipe down, people. It’s a minor league deal. There’s no downside. Not only that, in 2011, his contact rate was lower than that of David Robertson and Neftali Feliz. He also posted impressive peripherals: 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. It would be reasonable to accept some BABIP and HR/FB regression, especially if he’s pitching at Safeco.
    There’s almost no point in the writers on this site posting updates on Mariner minor league deals because the comment threads are merely full of unwarranted whining and absurd tongue-in-cheek comments like “Oh boy! Now they’ll win the World Series!” as opposed to meaningful discussion. 

    • Mikeschoolerforever 4 years ago

      Relax, your so serious. Have some fun!It’s Heilman for pity sake. We still have enough $ for Prince.

  9. Now that they have a Heilman, they should definitely protect their Heilman.  Heilman’s gotta last the whole year!

  10. m4r1n3r 4 years ago

    It’s a minor league contract guys. No guarantee he’ll be on the major league roster. He probably won’t be.

  11. harmony55 4 years ago

    Aaron Heilman’s wife has family in the Pacific Northwest.

  12. Patrick the Pragmatist 4 years ago

    Every team adds on fringe relievers every year.  It is when your team has to add those and they are not only contenders for the rotation,  but serious canidates for 3rd or 4th starter that you have to worry no matter what else the team can do.

    The M’s just added to Iwamura to Felix, Pineda, Vargas and Beavan.  So they don’t have that concern.  If a fringe guy makes it in,  it will be because of injuries or they earned a spot and can perform.

    So the M’s are just adding pen and emergency starter depth.  And depth is a good thing to have especially with pitchers.  Injuries do happen.

  13. Joshua Thompson 4 years ago

    I don’t think they plan on using him on the field. When he was ‘on the team’ three years ago, they brought him in, had him sign autographs at Mariner’s Fan Fest, then traded him to the Met’s. Fan Fest is coming up shortly, so I think they just needed another warm body to autograph some baseballs. I’d love to have him autograph the same baseball he autographed at Fan Fest in 2008. That would be hysterical. 

  14. Horrible reliever who had a “I am God” attitude in the minors.  Ten years later he’s back.  Hopefully more humble.

  15. at least he didn’t get Carlos Silva money….

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