Aaron Heilman: Overblown or Valuable?
Well..well...well. The trade bait du jour of late has been our very own Aaron Heilman. When you have the deepest bullpen in the league, you can dangle big pieces to fill other more pressing needs. MLBTradeRumors.com may not be the most reputable source being that they actually get some of their information from blogs purely speculating on things, but they certainly provides a lot of fodder for discussion. In this case, it is Aaron Heilman.
Renewing an interest they've had for a while now, a source tells me the Mets hope to acquire Edwin Jackson from the Devil Rays for bullpen help. They feel that they can fix some mechanical flaws in the 23 year-old righty.
Not sure if the Mets would hope to acquire Jackson as part of a trade of Aaron Heilman. As you may have read in the papers, Tampa Bay has interest in Heilman as a starter.
Two things. First, Edwin Jackson is a fine idea. I like the guy as he has an electric arm and I have no idea what the Devil Rays would be looking for, but he would be nice if he was a tossed into a deal or did not cost the Mets much. He might be young, but he has little value right now. It is kind of hard to see the Devil Rays just getting rid of him to get rid of him since he holds more value being kept being he still has some upside.
Second, the writer mentions Aaron Heilman as a possible chip to try and pry Edwin Jackson and obviously something else from the Devil Rays. While I really do not care much about the above 'rumor', reading through the inane bable that ensued after the tidbit peaked my interest. What could Aaron Heilman actually fetch on the market? We all know there is interest. The Red Sox reportedly view him as a closer and would like to acquire him, the Cubs are interested in turning him into a starter, and the White Sox would love to rip Omar off with Heilman and Milledge coming back to them and having Heilman set up Bobby Jenks.
There were a few gems in the comments like this one that didn't even think Heilman should be enough to net Edwin Jackson.
Honestly I think Jackson has more value then Heilman does guys. He is younger he was a top flight pitching prospect and still could be something very good.
There were a lot of other comments that were that antithesis of insightful and highlighted some people's complete and utter bias towards the New York Mets, but it did get me thinking. I am pretty set on Heilman being used for trade bait if there is a big market out there for him. I agree that he is ultimately replaceable in terms of what the Mets need him for. Can he net the Mets a Dustin Pedoria or an Alberto Callaspo? Can he be packaged up with Milledge and possibly other parts for an ace? Can he maybe bring some pop to the Mets lineup?
We know that Duaner Sanchez cost the Mets Jae Seo after having two back to back comparable seasons with Aaron Heilman's last two years. We also know that Dany Baez, who was an accomplished closer coming off possibly his best year, was dealt for Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany. Tiffany profiles as a back end starter and Jackson went from the 3rd highest rated prospect by BA for the Dodgers in '05 to completely blowing up his prospect status with his inability to notch an ERA lower than 5.55 in AAA in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Mike MacDougal only fetched Tyler Lumsden and Daniel Cortes from the White Sox this past year.
Are we overvaluing Aaron as Mets fans? Judging by the above to instances, you might say yes. However, there were instances when a guy like Danny Kolb could net a guy Jose Cappellan after posting horrific peripherals and while looking to be headed in the wrong direction. I understand Kolb was a closer and Heilman was not, but I think many believe Heilman could close. When it comes to relievers, it is much like antiques and other collectables. A baseball bat with David Wright's signature might be worthless to someone while being worth $100 to someone who actually places some value on the bat. I do think Heilman is a slightly different case when you factor in his versatility.
This year, not many names stand out in the set-up department. There are a few that stand out and there is a precipitous decline after that. As far as mid-rotation starters, two possibly priced themselves out of the range that most teams probably wanted to pay for their services and it is pretty thin after them with Vicente Padilla leading the mid-rotation charge. Heilman has value right now. Maybe even peak value at this point with some teams looking at him to start or close. If he was strictly a middle reliever because he wasn't good enough to close or good enough to start, that would be one that. That is far from reality.
Heilman can net something of use and the Mets are in the driver's seat. They are hardly interested in moving him just to move him for some marginal prospects. When you are in that type of position, you do not do desperate things. There will be plenty of teams willing to overpay for a guy like Heilman because there is still some considerable upside and a lot of value there. There is a reason his name has come up a lot and Mets are in a win win situation in regards to keeping or trading Aaron. Not a bad place to be in.
The Mets may be more open to moving Aaron Heilman into the starting rotation than previously reported, but are trying to determine the market for secondary setup men. They continue to be very averse to dealing him at all, despite all of the recent rumors that describe him as a “chip”.
If the Mets fail to sign a big time starter or trade for one, I'm all for this scenario. However, one has to wonder if they are just trying to boost his value? They are certainly deep enough in the bullpen to experiment with Heilman to the rotation and it certainly doesn't hurt for him to know he is pitching for his starting life with Pedro's return looming and one or two of the young guys getting edged into the bullpen or back to AAA (not that Heilman would ever get sent down, but you know what I mean).
The negotiating rights to Igawa, a 27-year-old Hanshin Tigers star, are expected to be made available to the highest-bidding major-league team via the posting system, just like Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Mets had scout Isao O'Jimi monitoring Igawa's performance, but the southpaw - who is most often linked to the Braves in reports - had a rough outing control-wise. Igawa allowed two runs on five hits and six walks in six innings. The Japanese staff walked 10 batters in all.
"He's got a good changeup, man - nasty," Reyes said. "And he can throw the ball. He throws 92, 93 mph."
And the fact he's lefthanded is a big positive.
"I favor lefthanders anywhere in the world," said Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine, who attended yesterday's game. "The first time I saw him four years ago he was a lot better than he is now, but he's still good."
Bobby is very honest and was straightforward on Kei, which is why I respect his thoughts on Daisuke so much. The guy knows what he is talking about.
Ted Lilly's agent, Larry O'Brien, said neither the Yankees nor Mets are among the "dozen or so" teams that have contacted him, but the lefthanded starter would be interested in hearing from them. Lilly, a Yankee from 2000-02, is looking for a four-year deal with a limited no-trade clause and wants to pitch for a playoff contender, O'Brien said.
Betances' stuff is as good as anyone's in the system. His fastball sits at 93-94 mph and touched 98 in the club's fall minicamp. He uses a low-80s power curveball as an out pitch. His changeup has made significant strides in his short pro career and grades as a future plus pitch with sinking, diving action. He's athletic and intelligent, and adapted quickly to the mechanical adjustments New York asked him to make.
Ouch! I know me and Benny were behind reeling him in, but it wasn't to happen. Instead the Mets are stuck with Holdzkom and a few other duds picked between the start of the draft and the eighth round.
Overall, the Mets system appears to be better than the Yankees system though not by much.