Aaron Heilman Rumors
More 2010 salary agreements are expected in advance of Tuesday's noon deadline for exchanging arbitration figures.
- Chad Durbin has avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a $2.125MM contract with the Phillies, tweets Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. This marks an increase over the $1.635MM he received by avoiding arbitration last year.
- The Rockies signed Ryan Spilborghs to a two-year deal worth $3.25MM, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The 30-year-old, who was arb-eligible for the first time, could earn an additional $1.15MM in incentives over the course of the deal.
- Arizona agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman, reports Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (via Twitter). Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweets that Heilman gets $2.15MM whereas Qualls will make $4.185MM in 2010. This was the third arbitration-eligible year for both players.
- The Bombers avoided arbitration with their last two eligible players, Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, according to Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog. This was Gaudin's third arbitration-eligible year and Logan's very first. Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Gaudin will make $2.95MM with incentives while Logan will make $590K.
- The Rangers agreed to terms with pitcher C.J. Wilson on a one-year deal worth $3.1MM, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The deal represents a $1.25MM raise in base pay for the 29-year-old, who avoided his first potential arbitration hearing this time a year ago.
- The Reds agreed to terms with Jared Burton, their last arbitration-eligible player, reports John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. This was Burton's first flirtation with the arbitration process.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez and Renyel Pinto by signing each to one-year deals, according to the Marlins' official twitter page. This is the first go-round in arbitration for both players. Sanchez will earn $1.25MM with up to $100K in bonuses, reports Jon Paul Morosi (via Twitter). Pinto will make $1.075 according to the Associated Press.
- Tony Pena and the White Sox have avoided arbitration, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, tweets White Sox VP Scott Reifert. Pena will earn $1.2MM, according to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). This was the 28-year-old's first time being arbitration-eligible.
- Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla settled at $7.8MM, writes MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. It's a $2.45MM raise for the slugger, who was arb-eligible for the second time. He remains a trade candidate. Uggla told Frisaro he was happy to avoid a hearing, even after winning last year.
- The Brewers signed outfielder Jody Gerut for 2010, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy pegs the value at $2MM, a $225K raise. This is Gerut's final arbitration year.
- Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum, who missed '09 due to Tommy John surgery, signed for $850K tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. 2010 is Marcum's first arbitration year.
Plenty of baseball writers are already offering their opinions on the Diamondbacks' acquisition of Aaron Heilman, and speculating about what the pitcher's role might be in Arizona....
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that some Diamondbacks execs have viewed Heilman as a starter in the past.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, however, suggests that the team plans to use Heilman out of the bullpen.
- In a separate article, Gilbert writes that he likes the deal for Arizona, as a low-risk move with upside. He notes that the two prospects the D'Backs gave up "were not exactly setting the world on fire."
- R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs leans the other way: He applauds the Cubs for getting anything for Heilman, and wonders if "giving up anything of value for a middle reliever" is smart for the Diamondbacks.
- Matthew Pouliot at NBC Sports thinks that both sides did well. He says that Heilman is a durable pitcher with upside, but that he wasn't in the Cubs' plans, and Chicago probably couldn't have gotten a better return elsewhere.
Tim listed Heilman as a non-tender candidate last month, so it's not a surprise that the Cubs were willing to part with the 31-year-old righty. He pitched to a 4.11 ERA in 72.1 innings with the Cubs last year, allowing 68 hits and 34 walks, while striking out 65.
Heilman has started before, but GM Josh Byrnes suggests to the Arizona Republic that the D'Backs see him as a reliever.
1:24pm: Rosenthal reports that the Cubs held onto Harden, Heilman and the rest of their players.
12:38pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears that the Cubs aren't likely to deal Harden. Many teams claimed the righty and it's likely that an NL team won the claim.
12:22pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Cubs are less motivated to move Harden now than they were last week. The team has started playing well and has an outside shot at the NL Wild Card.
11:29am: Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago hears that the Cubs will hold onto Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman, who were claimed by the Twins and Giants, respectively. (Other teams may have claimed them as well).
10:37am: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune hears that the Twins have not yet requested Rich Harden's medical records from the Cubs. A trade seems unlikely, according to Christensen's source.
Harden has been on the DL seven times since 2005, so the team would presumably want to examine the records before making a deal. However, Harden has been pitching well lately and the Twins are looking for starting pitching help, so they could consider dealing for him without looking at his medical records.
SATURDAY, 4:02pm: Ken Rosenthal said during a segment on FOX Saturday Baseball that a deal between the Twins and Cubs for right-hander Rich Harden could indeed happen.
Rosenthal made a couple of valid points: First, Harden is an impending free agent and the Cubs could always re-sign him in the winter. Second, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have been pining for help and would be more inclined to sign long-term deals if Minnesota management shows a desire to win this season.
FRIDAY, 4:12pm: ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine reports that the Twins were in fact awarded the claim on Harden, and that the Giants were awarded the claim on Heilman.
9:03am: Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman were claimed on waivers yesterday, but that doesn't mean the Cubs are about to trade either pitcher away. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times hears that the Cubs hadn't even been contacted by the claiming teams as of late last night. Even if those teams do contact the Cubs, there's no guarantee that GM Jim Hendry would decide to deal either player.
The Cubs might be more open to moving Milton Bradley, but who would have interest? Wittenmyer considers the possibilities and concludes that the Blue Jays and Royals may be fits if the Cubs are willing to take on some of the $21MM remaining on Bradley's deal. It's been a disappointing season for Bradley, but he has still managed a .387 OBP.
7:30pm: According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, "An American League source with knowledge of the process indicated the Minnesota Twins may be the team that claimed Harden."
2:47pm: An unknown team claimed Trevor Hoffman off waivers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi, who notes that Hoffman would like to return to Milwaukee next year, says the chances of a deal are slim. Hoffman projects as a Type A free agent, so the Brewers can receive compensation picks if they offer Hoffman arbitration and he signs elsewhere.
Meanwhile, two players on the division rival Cubs have also been claimed, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A National League team claimed Aaron Heilman and Rich Harden was claimed by an unknown team.
Harden earns $7MM this year, but, like Hoffman, he projects as a Type A free agent, so his value is high. Teams such as the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers would all figure to have interest in Harden, but the Cubs would be in a position to command a lot for him.
Links for Friday...
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick examines Scott Boras' work so far this winter, as well as his remaining clients.
- RotoAuthority has first baseman rankings for fantasy leagues.
- Matthew Cerrone suggests the Mets might want to publicly rule out Manny Ramirez.
- Interesting WHIFF profile on Aaron Heilman.
- Patrick Newman introduces us to Norichika Aoki, perhaps the best hitter in Japan. Aoki may end up in MLB, but it probably won't be anytime soon.
- The Orioles agreed to a split contract with pitcher Brian Burres, says Troy Renck.
A few more links for Wednesday...
- Ryan Howard said a long-term deal with the Phillies would be "beautiful," for what it's worth.
- The New York Times' Ben Shpigel comments on the Aaron Heilman deal and its effect on new teammate Jeff Samardzija.
- Marty Noble of MLB.com learned that Mets GM Omar Minaya met with Pedro Martinez in the Dominican Republic today, but did not make an offer (and re-signing him remains a long shot).
- Yahoo's Tim Brown has the roundup on the Twins' hot stove happenings.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com takes on the Manny Ramirez-to-Mets conspiracy theorists.
6:23pm: I just spoke to a source familiar with the Cubs' thinking. Hopefully I can further douse the flames of the Peavy-Cubs rumors - the Cubs aren't planning to restart the Peavy talks, and none of their recent trades for pitching were related to Peavy. Keep in mind that the team's ownership situation is far from resolved. - Tim Dierkes
5:58pm: MLB.com's Barry Bloom heard from Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush that the Cubs have had "no talks about Jake Peavy since they were well-documented during the Winter Meetings." However, this doesn't mean that talks won't restart.
Bush said the Cubs could go into Spring Training without further changes, but sounds open to adding players if they come at the right price.
5:16pm: In an ESPN.com video Buster Olney says, "at some point you can expect the Cubs and Padres will again start talking about a Peavy deal" now that the Cubs have added pitching in trades.
Earlier in the winter, the Padres wanted more young arms than the Cubs could offer. Since then, the Cubs added pitching to the organization in the Mark DeRosa deal and created flexibility by trading for Aaron Heilman.
The Cubs could structure a deal for Peavy around prospect Josh Vitters and young pitching.
11:39am: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Mariners acquired Cedeno and Garrett Olson from the Cubs for Heilman. Essentially, the Cubs moved two out of options players in Cedeno and Felix Pie to get Heilman, who they've coveted for a while. The Mariners did well here, adding a back-rotation candidate in Olson and competition for Yuniesky Betancourt in Cedeno. They released Randy Messenger to make room for the pair.
Bruce Miles says Heilman will be given a chance to start for the Cubs.
10:55am: Ken Rosenthal confirms the deal, saying the Cubs are on the verge of landing Heilman for Cedeno and a minor league pitcher. The deal is expected to be announced today.
10:25am: According to ESPN Radio's Bruce Levine, the Cubs are close to acquiring pitcher Aaron Heilman from the Mariners. The Ms want shortstop Ronny Cedeno and pitching in return. Heilman was dealt to Seattle in the J.J. Putz trade earlier this winter. Earlier this month, Ken Rosenthal mentioned that the Mariners were likely willing to trade Heilman, "who they did not consider a key component of the Putz trade."
Heilman, 30, is set to earn $1.625MM in '09. He'll be eligible for free agency after the 2010 season.
Levine also mentioned that three teams are interested in out-of-options Cubs hurler Rich Hill.