Aaron Heilman: Start Me or Trade Me

When the New York Mets drafted Aaron Heilman out of Notre Dame in the first round of the 2001 amatuer draft, they did so with the hope that Aaron would one day be a starter for the team. That day came in 2003 when Aaron made his MLB debut, and over the next three seasons he started 25 games for the Mets, and went 5-13 during that span.

Then in 2006 the team moved him to the bullpen after toying with his arm angle, and suddenly Heilman became a valuable asset to the Mets. Well, until he gave up that home run to Yadier Molina in the 2007 NLCS because last season Aaron posted a 5.21 ERA and walked a career-high 46 hitters in 76 innings. So now Aaron has had enough of life in the bullpen, and would like to return to the starting rotation. Of course, the problem with that is that the Mets don't really want to move him, so now Aaron wants to be traded.

"The object the entire time has never been to get out of New York," Heilman's agent Mark Rodgers told the Daily News. "The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he's ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher."

A source with knowledge of the Mets' internal discussions suggested there's an organizational split about Heilman - with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon wanting him to remain and other key front-office personnel favoring a trade.

Now considering that the only spots in the Mets starting rotation that are spoken for in 2009 belong to Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and John Maine, it's got to hurt Aaron's feelings a bit that the team isn't even willing to give him a shot. Of course, that could be because the team still hopes to sign a couple of free agent pitchers to fill out the rotation, and if that's the case, they probably should just move Heilman.

The Mets bullpen was horrible last season, so parting ways with members of it probably isn't a bad idea, and there is interest in Heilman around the league. Of course, whether or not those teams -- like the Rockies -- who are interested in him have any plans on making him a starter, I have no idea.

Aaron Heilman: Start Me or Trade Me originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Thu, 20 Nov 2008 12:42:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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