Cubs acquire Heilman from M's
Fantasy: Heilman to start?
Eric Karabell looks at the fallout from the Aaron Heilman trade to the Cubs, including his potential for starting and the impact on the Mariners' bullpen situation. Story
The 30-year-old Heilman grew up a Cubs fan in Indiana and graduated from Notre Dame. He said he mostly enjoyed his six seasons in New York and acknowledged that going back could be an interesting experience.
"I didn't have any ill feelings toward anyone or anything there in New York. I enjoyed my time there," he said. "The fans treated me pretty well for the most part. They're a fickle crowd. They know what they like and they want to see their team do well. Sometimes they let it be known."
Heilman dutifully attended a weekend fan function at frigid Safeco Field last weekend and talked enthusiastically about getting a fresh start outside New York.
"We were excited to acquire him, and sorry to trade him," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "But I felt this was a deal that we couldn't pass up."
Olson, 25, was selected by Baltimore as the 48th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
While Seattle already has six potential starters in Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Brandon Morrow, Jarrod Washburn, Carlos Silva and Ryan Rowland-Smith, Olson is likely to get an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Mariners' rotation this spring.Zduriencik said he knew Olson from scouting him in college, when Zduriencik was in Milwaukee's front office.
"I hope his mind-set is he comes here wanting to win a spot in the starting rotation," the GM said. "If we were giving Aaron Heilman a chance to be a starter, which I told him we were, now here's Garrett Olson -- he's young, he's left-handed -- why not give a starting opportunity in the same vein?"
To clear room on their major league roster for Cedeno and Olson, the Mariners waived pitcher Randy Messenger. The 27-year-old right-hander appeared in 13 games for Seattle in 2008.Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.