Cubs Deal Heilman to Diamondbacks

The Cubs have traded RHP Aaron Heilman to the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers, LHP Scott Maine and 1B Ryne White. No one on the Cubs or their fans is probably gonna miss Heilman so I won't waste much space on him, but it was a good way for the Cubs to get something for a guy that was probably a good bet to get non-tendered.

White's a local boy that went to high school at St. Rita, not too far from MIdway Airport. He then went to college at Purdue and was drafted in the 4th round by the Diamondbacks in 2008. He spent that year in Rookie Ball and then the Midwest League for a handful of at-bats, so the Cubs probably got a chance to see him a bit there. Last year he went to Hi-A with Visalia and finished with a 266/371/356 with 65 BB's against 87 K's in 491 PA's. He'll be 23 next season.

Prior to the 2009 season, one article had him listed as a top 5 power hitting prospect in the Diamondbacks system, although he has yet to show that power. 

White suffered a power outage once he began to face Midwest League pitching. Still, between Purdue, Missoula, and South Bend, White combined for 34 doubles, a triple, 19 homers, and 99 RBI in 2008. He is a big pull hitter who figures to improves as he continues to receive professional instruction. There are several Diamondbacks prospects who displayed more power this year, including Harbin, Peter Clifford, and Isaias Asencio, but none of them has quite the ceiling that White does.

He played a little bit of right and left field as well last year for Visalia.

Maine's a 6-3" lefty that will be 25 next season and was drafted in the 6th round in the 2007 draft out of the University of Miami. He pitched for  both Double A and Triple A in 2009 and between the two leagues he had a 2.90 ERA in 2009 in 62 IP and a 8.9 K/9 rate and 3.2 BB/9 rate and a 0.3 HR/9. He was selected for the Arizona Fall League, but just made two appearances and gave up 3 runs in 1.2 IP. I assume he was replaced, but can't find any details on the matter.

He got hit pretty hard in 2009 by lefties, a .325 average versus .259 versus righties, but his K/9 rate was much better versus lefties, so it could just be a matter of bad luck.  His career minor league splits show a .259 BA against lefties  with a 10.59 K/9 rate compared to a .266 BA versus righties and 8.92 K/9 rate. He also seems to be able to induce more groundball versus lefties than righties (55.3% versus 42.0%).

Stuff wise, he comes from a low-three quarters delivery and features a fastball (89-92), curveball (wicked movement, difficult to control) and a changeup.

It should be noted that Maine has already undergone Tommy John Surgery way back in 2004 and also was in a very bad car wreck that shattered his skull and forced him to wear a protective face plate. At the very least, he's a good comeback story to root for...


Actually looks like a decent haul.

I wish Aaron luck. I've known him for a long time. He is a good dude.

Good Riddance

Seemed like a nice guy, but he was a head case on the mound. I always liked Heilman from afar, but when he arrived on the Cubs, I could see why he was hated so much in NY, for example. Considering he definitely wasn't coming back next season, it's somewhat impressive that the Cubs got what they did.

How much will this save us in arbitration?

Heilman's situation reminds me a little of the Marquis situation going into last season - he didn't perform terribly as a Cub, but it was more about what he represented by his being here. With Marquis, he was always a very serviceable 5th starter but his salary was (rightfully) viewed as a roadblock to getting Jake Peavy and he had to go. When we didn't get Peavy at all, it was almost like some Cubs fans turned on Marquis and blamed him for having something to do with that fiasco. It was a shame to see Cubs fans boo him so mightily when he came back to Wrigley. To me, Heilman (along with Gregg) represents the overall failure of the bullpen to live up to expectations, so he had to go, even though he wasn't an awful reliever. Still, I won't be shedding any tears over his departure... it definitely opens up a spot for someone like Caridad for next season...

The thing about Heilman is that he did his best work when the game didn't count. Every time (seemingly) he got in a high leverage situation, he failed.

If you look at - which I think is sorted to just the Cubs, you can see that he was used in the fourth highest 'leverage' situations but he had the worst expected wins among the guys who were around for a significant time. Same story in 2009.

Based solely on how well he was doing in ST getting "starter" innings, I think that a team would be best served giving him a shot to start, and if it doesn't work out let him be a long reliever.

Hendry sez he's got volume...can a donut joke be far behind?
PWSullivan: Hendry cites bullpen "volume" in Heilman deal, namely Marmol, Grabow, Caridad, Samardzija, Gorzelanny, Marshall, Berg. Lou can sleep better

OK ... but if Gorz and Marshall are both in the pen, who starts?

you've clearly understimated Mitch Atkins...

I will simply accept it as a sign that a pre-arranged trade and extension for Roy Halladay should be announced any day now.

More like... Hendry will tease Cubs fans with rumors and talks of a trade for Halladay, and then nothing will get done ala Peavy and Roberts.

So is the Ricketts honeymoon over?

(hand up!) They've been in my doghouse for months.

Big Picture: We traded Felix Pie (who got us Garrett "Peavy bait" Olson) + Ron Cedeno and have so far received in return:

1 year of Aaron Heilman (who you may recall wants to be a starter not a reliever--- and was another one of those players Hendry "admired ever since he played for Notre Dame.")

RHP Hank Williamson AAA

LHB 1B Ryne White A+

LHP Scott Maine AAA


I'm okay with this, although I have to admit if Baltimore wanted these guys I might trade all 3 for Felix Pie.

Not that I was a big Pie fan. Keep in mind that we traded felix to open a open a spot for Joey Gathright.

I thought the Bradley signing made much less sense after we traded Pie. We may have been able to carry Gathright a lot longer if the good hitters actually did their jobs (and Ramirez stayed healthy).

This trade gives us another slot on the 40 man right? So technically it's like a 3 for 1 (these two plus the last man who would have been cut), assuming that the Cubs would have lost someone in the Rule V draft, which based on recent years seems likely.

The lefty pitcher is 25 and finished last year in aaa.

He is probably on the 40.

he could make the 40 by spring training, but the Cubs don't have to put him on there quite yet.

I think you get more than two years... but the Rule V draft is too complicated for me to keep track of.

Maybe Diamond is protected from the Rule 5 now. He has been doing fairly well in the Mexicano League.

Johnson, Lincecum's teammate this year in San Francisco, and Sandy Koufax are the only other pitchers to win consecutive NL Cy Young Awards.

What about Maddog?

He won 4 in a row.

Sorry Jacos, but I am going to have to take the AP's word over yours.

They haven't even corrected it yet - at least not of foxsports.

Fox News has been making a few mistakes lately. I think they had Sarah Palin winning consecutive NL Cy Youngs also.

I've been reading a bunch of blogs, tweets, etc.

Someone said White was a "Matt Stairs type".

That's good, right?

(personally, I hope he breaks with the big club someday just to have another "Ryno" to cheer for)

EDIT-- It was Hendry. It's mentioned in Muskrat's blog Rob linked to above.

being described as a "matt stairs type" isn't good for anyone unless they're already 30+ years old, imo...heh.

hopefully it means he's as good natured as stairs...he's a real clubhouse tamer and will go to extraordinary unselfish measures to lighten moods.

Stairs is a clubhouse cancer, he's been on 9 teams over the last 9 years, despite a career 118 OPS+.

He's really an interesting case study in a guy everyone likes to have but no one wants to keep. No one ever says anything bad about him, he does just what he's advertised to do, and every year, pretty much he has to find a new team.

You want to look at his numbers and say that he's done, but I am sure people wanted to do the same thing after 2000 and after 2006.

Fat Stairs can't play a lick of defense. If I am not mistaken, his parents were Hell's Angels.

Levine points out this may also have been done to help finance Grabow

I started hating Heilman less recently after I saw how little we were paying him; I think since he's over 30 I thought he was making more. Still, not going to miss him.

from that article link...

It would not be incorrect to say that some of the money saved in the
Heilman trade will go toward Grabow's contract, which will increase
about $1 million a year.

if it's 2/7.5, then we're talking 3.25 in 2010 and 4.25 in 2011.

I like that Ryne White was born in Chicago. Given that his birth year is 1986, it's clear to me where his first name comes from. Interesting.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 7:03pm.
The lefty pitcher is 25 and finished last year in aaa.

He is probably on the 40.


DR AARON B: Maine is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until after next season, and White is eligible after the 2011 season. So neither player would need to be placed on the Cubs 40-man roster at this time.

Submitted by thedirtbag on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 10:49pm.
Maybe Diamond is protected from the Rule 5 now. He has been doing fairly well in the Mexicano League.


T. Dirt Bag: Thomas Diamond is eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, and if he remains on a minor league roster he will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent after next season, unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster no later than the 4th day afrer the conclusion of the 2010 World Series.

Also, the Cubs cannot add Diamond back to their 40-man roster prior to the 2009 Rule 5 Draft. Because he was outrighted to the minors in September, he would have had to be added back to the 40-man roster no later than the 4th day after conclusion of the 2009 World Series.

So its fairly safe to say that they will loose him.

Submitted by Rob G. on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 8:06pm.
from that article link...

It would not be incorrect to say that some of the money saved in the Heilman trade will go toward Grabow's contract, which will increase about $1 million a year.

if it's 2/7.5, then we're talking 3.25 in 2010 and 4.25 in 2011.


ROB G: Don't forget the Hendry Incentives.

doughnuts don't count toward payroll.

Doughnuts.... is there anything they can't do?

"Maine's a 6-3" lefty " "He got hit pretty hard in 2009 by lefties"

Sounds like the perfect Cub loogy.

Actually, the Cubs already have a "younger" Matt Stairs type in Jake Fox.

Physically, yeah, but he bats right handed and doesn't walk much.

He didn't walk much last year in the minors he got on base decently... .293/.357/.528

I spose I'm in the minority for keeping Jake Fox? Put him in LF when Soriano gets hurt..put him at 3B when A-Ram gets hurt....power bat off the bench otherwise.

Ummmm Jake Fox couldn't crack the lineup when Soriano and Bradley were gone. Personally i think Lou was correct that the league figured him out and sliders were death to Jake Fox.

That being said I would have played him over Scales and Fuld, but i think Lou was trying to protect his trade value because in all due reality, Jake Fox has no position to play on this team and has no future with the Cubs.

You may be right Mike....I may be crazy.
Or perhaps a player in his first time around in the majors could adjust to the pitchers' adjustment to him?

Talking bad about Jake Fox on TCR? Why you might as well be blaspheming Matt Murton...

In all seriousness, Jake Fox isn't nearly as good as everyone thinks he is. He's got some pop. He needs some work and doesn't have a position. It's not a good formula. Who knows, maybe he'll be the next Adam Dunn... until then he's just Jake Fox: DH Lite. As far as clubhouse attitude he really seems like a great guy and I don't mind him playing a bench role and hitting 5 or 6 homers in the late innings in 2010.

I actually thought his third base was pretty solid. His first base defense probably cost us at least one game, and maybe two.

In left he looked like a drunk stumbling home from the bar, but for the most part he made the base cataches. That still doesn't explain Scales getting the PT, his defense cost us in back to back games against the Cards and he still went out there.

I don't think the "he can't hit a slider" thing is true, no one hits sliders out of the zone. Just like everyone else he needs to see some more pitchers to get some more experience to lay off those pitches.

Just based on his usage at the end of the year, you would certainly think he's not in Lou's plans for the 2010 Cubs. Just one more reason to dislike Lou, as far as I am concerned. If you wanted to protect him against slider pitchers - you would just bench him against right handers with sliders - that didn't happen.

Point taken. But note at no time did I say "Jake Fox should start and play 150 games."

What I did say, to paraphrase, "Jake Fox could be a valuable bench bat, and could fill in at LF or 3B when ARam and/or Sori go on the yearly disabled list visit."

I'd rather see him getting the back-up time at LF, 3B, 1B than Aaron Miles, Bobby Scales, Mike al..

I totally agree with that.

Corner backup 1b/3b/lf/rf

Sure he bats wronghanded and isn't a defensive wizard.

But at some point you will need some offense on the bench. In a world where Aaron Miles get 2/5 and Koyie Hill stays employed, Jake Fox should absolutely be a MLB player.

Let's not let Aaron Miles lower the bar.

Aaron Miles can't hit over 250 in the pacific coast league.


But yes, I agree that I wouldn't mind Fox on the bench in 2010 with limited playing time.

You also can't discount the possibility that Fox will figure out the slider. A lot of times MLB pitchers figure out a death pitch on a rookie type, and the rookie type figures it out right back at them. Most don't figure it out of course and they become forgotten, but Fox's career ain't over yet.

I like this Ryne White kid if his power ever develops and Maine looks to be a decent arm.

Very nice haul for Heilman. Now if an organization would just make Heilman a starter and be done with it you might get a pretty good SP you didn't know you had. His heart is really as a starter, not a bullpen arm.

It looks like another nice by Jimbo of getting good value for a 24 or 25th guy type. Maine should be in the bullpen mix sometime mid-year if injuries happen and White at worst could develop into a Sean Casey type and the organization does lack a 1B with MLB potential.

Based on what we've heard that sounds pretty accurate. Maybe it's just my pessimism coming through, but I am waiting for the other shoe to drop on one or both of these guys.

Regardless, considering many of us thought that Heilman shouldn't have been pulled back from waivers, it looks like a good trade - assuming one of these guys can provide more major league value than their cost (Heilman's salary - his performance - their salaries + their major league performance + the performance of the guy we added to the 40 man roster who we would have lost).

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 15 min 33 sec ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 18 min 20 sec ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 22 min 16 sec ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 26 min 49 sec ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 28 min 31 sec ago view
  • it's been a while since joe's over-managed a's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.

    crunch 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.

    John Beasley 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 5 hours 2 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 6 hours 16 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 7 hours 39 sec ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 7 hours 20 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 7 hours 47 min ago view
  • Sure, its not about his record.

    jacos 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 9 hours 11 min ago view