Cubs Trade Ronny Cedeno; Get Living, Breathing Pitcher in Return

The Cubs moved yet another once-upon-a-time prospect in Ronny Cedeno today, along with left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson to the Seattle Mariners for Aaron Heilman. You'll remember Olson as the pitcher the Cubs received along with Hank Williamson for Felix Pie about a week and a half ago. That makes the net trade:

Cubs get: Hank Williamson, Aaron Heilman

Cubs lose: Ronny Cedeno, Felix Pie

Cedeno's fate was likely sealed when the Cubs acquired Aaron Miles and I'll shed no tears on this loss. Cedeno might be more talented than Ryan Theriot, but he's shown all the baseball intelligence of a junior high dropout. I also find it a bit amusing that the one rookie that Dusty Baker ever gave much of a legitimate shot of playing time to - besides maybe Matt Murton - was Cedeno in 2006. Dusty Baker's eye for talent strikes yet again.

Heilman has been on the Cubs radar for awhile, always known to be a Hendry favorite. The Notre Dame alum had a brutal 2008 season, with a 5.21 ERA for the Mets and was part of the three-team deal for J.J. Putz earlier this offseason. His K/9 rate went up to a nice 9.47 last year, but it went along with a skyrocketing BB/9 rate of 5.45. Fangraphs (using Pitch F/x data) says he throws mostly a fastball and change-up with the occassional slider, while Sportsnet says it's a splitter and fastball with the occasional fastball and change. He has also made it clear on many occasions that he would prefer to be a starter, which is probably why he got shipped out of New York.

Heilman signed a one year, $1.625M deal to avoid arbitration with the Mariners and  is set to be a free agent after the 2010 season and the deal cleared a spot on the 40-man roster.

I assume many are worried that moving Garrett Olson means the end of the Jake Peavy sweepstakes for the Cubs, as the Padres made it clear he was a pitcher they desired. I, of course, have no idea if that is true or not. To play devil's advocate, it could mean the Cubs are now willing to move Sean Marshall and covet Aaron Heilman more for that swing-man role. I think that's less likely of a scenario, but it is possible.

In the end, the Cubs moved a useless part (Cedeno) and a promising player with no roster flexibility (Pie) for a pitcher I think is a pretty good bet to bounce back next season. From 2005-2007, Heilman put up ERA's of 3.17, 3.62, and 3.03 with anywhere from 76 to 108 IP. Considering the volatility of relief pitchers, there's certainly a good chance that he can rebound to those levels.


He seems like Jason Marquis with a lower salary and acquired for relatively useless parts. Gives more depth to the starting rotation which is always needed, esp with Harden.

I choose not to look at it versus a possible Peavy trade because we don't know, but suspect that it was going to be an arm and a leg to get him.

I fail to see the comparision to Marquis....

completely different repertoire, never much of a starter in the majors.


It's been my dream for awhile to be the first commenter on one of these posts. It seems, somehow, unfulfilling now. Kinda like the Cubs' offseason moves so far.

the moment you, or anyone else, writes first in a comment is the moment a little part of me dies.

you will also be banned.


"you will also be banned. "

That's another dream of mine. At my age, that's about as exciting as things get.

Keep trying.

Forget first post. Aim for worst post.

Try posting something about how the number of games over .500 doesn't directly correspond to the number of games one would need to lose to return to .500.

dude 1/2 games are real and you can play more than 162 games!!!!

dammit, CA-Phil. Dream shattered.

I hope you're right but your opinion is based on what? Heilman battled tendonitis in his left knee all last season. Is it better?

2005-2007 and an improved K/9 rate....

I'll let Dr. Hecht handle the severity of knee tendonitis, but I'll guess 6 months off will make it better.

As was mentioned in the previous thread, Heilman was putting up with some tendonitis problems in his knee last season which may have been why he struggled. If I can dig up some more info later today I'll add to this. To get traded (twice) somebody must have been reviewing these medical records and signing off on them.

Heilman is not a starting pitcher. He had success as a reliever in NY, and got shellacked in his run as a starting pitcher.

Cedeno was not much, but now Miles is the one back-up infielder? Ugh..

don't be surpised when they add another....

Ok..who Juan Uribe? And add that to the pile of $$ the Cubs are spending.

What would that cost? Rich Aurillia?? Yikes...


even if you're viewing in flat mode, the reply button is your friend....

or cut and paste the comment you're referring to....

There is no way Ronny Cedeno is worth that!!

Wait till you see the terms DB,

Juan Uribe

-Player option years 4 and 5
-5 Million buyout
-10% ownership in franchise
-His own interpreter

Don't forget that most of that contract will be backloaded too...

dug this up from the NY Daily News, circa 9-11-08

Jerry Manuel: Knee problem has hampered Aaron Heilman all year

BY Adam Rubin

Thursday, September 11th 2008, 4:00 AM

Jerry Manuel offered an alibi for Aaron Heilman's miserable string of outings. The interim manager revealed, and Heilman confirmed, the righty has been dealing with left knee tendinitis since spring training. Manuel said the problem affects Heilman's landing during his delivery and therefore his location.

Heilman surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to Cristian Guzman in the sixth Wednesday night in a 13-10 win over the Nationals.

For his part, Heilman tried to minimize how much it has accounted for his 5.38 ERA. "There were probably a handful of games where I felt it affected me," said Heilman, who has appeared in just two games this month.

Isn't tendinitis a recurring problem that never really goes away? And did we really just pick up another injured pitcher? This would be a fine strategy if MLB made an exception and allowed the Cubs to carry another 10 pitchers without it counting towards the 25 man roster limit.

You misspelled crunch's name.

And, no, tendinitis is not a chronic condition. I am sure the good doctor can give a more thorough example, but I can fix my achilies' problems by changing shoes.

Similarly, I've got some shoulder tendinitis that is just fine as long as I don't do anything like throw a baseball.

I've always read that tendinitis is diagnosed when they can't quite figure out exactly what the underlying problem is.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), slider (SL) and split-fingered fastball (spl FB). Heilman also throws a circle change (CU) and curveball (CB). The Mets will allow Heilman to work on whatever he likes at the instructional league and hopefully Bobby Ojeda will have an opportunity to work with him.

Scouting Report: Pitcher, Aaron HeilmanFastball. Heilman's fastball sat at 92-93 mph which was better than the expected 90-92 mph. He showed an ability to occasionally reach 94-95 mph. He is not expected to add much if any velocity to his fastball. Heilman's fastball has excellent movement that he can make move left, right and sink. His fastball is in general very difficult to elevate.

Other pitches: Heilman threw what was regarded as one of the top 5 sliders in college baseball in 2001. Heilman taught himself his spl. FB in January 2001 and it was a very effective pitch for him that he was able to throw for strikes.

Pitching: Heilman is extremely durable and understands how to pitch. The only concern regarding Heilman is his ability to get left-handed hitters. He really only needs to better utilize the lateral movement of his fastball and add a quality change up to get lefties out.

Projection: Heilman projects to a #1 or #2 starter. He has the make up of an ace.

ETA: 2003. If he adds a quality 4th pitch, Heilman could be ready before the end of 2002.

didn't quite work out that way...

also saw this history on Heilman from 2006:

Mets | Heilman has elbow operation
Mon, 23 Oct 2006 23:56:21 -0700

The Associated Press reports New York Mets SP Aaron Heilman (elbow) had surgery Oct. 23 for tennis elbow on his throwing arm.

The KFFL link has a boatload of stuff on Heilman with years of him being involved in trade rumors, one dates back to him being possibly acquired to compete vs Wade Miller for the Cubs 5th starter spot.

Also, it looks like he was getting the LaTroy Hawkins treatment from Met fans last year

Heilman was getting racist letters too?

Lol....yeah...from Michigan fans??

If he is a solid reliever, great...and if not, again...lots of sound, no fury this offseason..

Heilman was getting racist letters too?
No, anti-Dome hate mail. Most were booing LaTroy just because he sucked as a Cub. The racist stuff was coming from the beyond, probably Commish Kenesaw Mountain Landis' grave.

in case that was missed

1yr deal with a mutual option...$6-$8M range

Wait...isn't he in our farm system? IS he out of options?

is that a joke or are you stuck in a wormhole from 1998?


Man, you ARE gullible!

There was lots of angry in the last thread about this, but thanks to Rob for summing it up.

Those of us who want Peavy want to be upset because of Olson's name being linked to that trade. Understandable. But I highly doubt Garrett Olson will or won't be the deciding factor in whether or not we get Peavy. Having said that, did we pay a semi-high price for Heilman? Probably. But again, Jim's running out of time and (literally) options.

I wanted badly to see Cedeno succeed, and it never happened, and wasn't going to. Good riddance.

The one reason I will miss Cedeno is the fact that he is the only man I ever saw run the bases as if we were playing a good old fashion game of pitcher's hand. Seriously did he run with his eyes closed? I will NOT miss him.

I don't even know that the price is that high, when you aren't taking Peavy into account. Assuming he gets over the tendonitis, Heilman's a decent pitcher, and Cedeno probably wasn't ever going to get much in return. Olson, well... NOOOO! COME BACK, JAKE!

Another thing that's important is to avoid thinking of this as Pie and Cedeno for Heilman, because then the wrists start bleeding and that's just too messy.

I just keep envisioning Hendry on the deck of the Starship Enterprise being suffocated by some devious Klingon weapon..crawling to the command console...just reaching up to press the life saving button..."Must spend money on middle relievers..."

I would have preferred a prospect and Olson.

Seattle got a starting spot for Ronny?

probably compete with Betancourt....Cedeno might actually be able to win that.

yeah Betancourt is no Izturis or Neifi...erm.

I've said this several times - but in the fall of 2006, I was THRILLED that Dusty played this speedy, strong-armed, SS with some pop. "We FINALLY have a shortstop!"

Then 2007 came - he was given the gig - and blew it.

Like Rob, and the Dr. Aaron said, we got a living, breathing body for him. I'm fine with it. Who knows what will happen with Garrett Olson.

There are quite a few "If's" on the Cubs 2009 version - add Heilman to the mix.

Just wish he was a lefty. Lou kept the wrong one.

I do worry that Jim has really thinned this roster out quite a bit.

I know its a stretch, but imagine if something along the lines of

-Bradley injury

-Harden injury

-Soriano injury

-Aramis injury

-Theriot/Miles/Fontenot either Don't repeat career year/Continue to suck/Doesn't turn into Micky Morandini 2.0?

I don't know that we have the depth to recover like we've had before.

Backloaded deals almost always come home to roost. And Jim's aversion to confrontation may end up being his undoing.

This ("IF" injury scenarios) has been discussed ad nauseum. Ultra 3/44.

Now we may add a Heilman injury, too.

I'd say more than 50% of that list is a foregone conclusion, E-Man

It harkens back to the good old days of peciling in Wood and Prior at the front of the rotation.

I can't wait until the "When Milton Bradley comes off the DL. It will be like making a deadline trade" routine.

As of today, without Peavy. This club could be anywhere from a 92-75 win Club.

And with Peavy we'd be a 97 to 69 win club, but with $80 million more of backloaded contracts. What's the point?

I am starting to agree with this point of view. For the money, and cost in talent, I don't think Peavy improves us enough to justify the 5 useful bodies it would take, particularly Vitters and Castillo. Two way catchers are too hard to come by, and while you can debate the Cubs dubious record on developing front end talent, we really have not had a prospect like Vitters since I don't know when. And we won't be drafting #3 again any time soon. Marshall is a good #5, and cheap, and left handed, so has a lot of value.

But there are no teams in competition with us to land him, due to his no trade clause. They are stuck with him unless we agree to a trade. Hendry should apply the full leverage of this negotiating position if a deal is to be struck.

Wait... you mean that if the a baseball team lost four of their best players, they would struggle?


No reason to be glib here Matt Lauer

you know that on most teams the chances of that happening to four of their best players are much lower.

Heilman. From now on your Delta Tau Chi name is...Old Style.

and after a bad outing they will probably say something about, hold the mayo

awesome...i love it.

Looks like the M's fans are liking this trade:

found this ironic tidbit in a Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus) column from 7/30/06:

The Mets haven't made the most of Aaron Heilman. Once expected to be a rotation fixture, the pitcher has instead found a home in the bullpen. He could find a home closer to his midwest roots if the information I got from a Mets official pans out. I'm told that the Mets are discussing shipping Heilman to the Cardinals in return for free-agent-to-be Jason Marquis.

Unfortunately I can't find anything more specific on Heilman's tendonitis other than it was his left knee.

Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon and there are several around the knee. The largest two are the quadriceps tendon (which inserts into the patella/kneecap) and the patellar tendon (which goes from the patella to the tibia below the knee) both are common. There are also hamstrings (medial or lateral) and even the gastrocnemius which is more of a calf muscle but the tendons go behind and above the knee attaching to the femur.

My guess is it was a patellar tendonitis as it's probably the most common of these conditions. In a pitcher, this would a significant problem for both push off and landing from a mound. Heilman played through it most of the season meaning it was nagging but not incapacitating . It wasn't disclosed to the press until the 2nd week in September where there are multiple articles (see the link above for one of these) explaining why they hadn't used him as much in early September. Of course blowing 5 of 8 save opportunities might just be a better excuse to skip calling him from the pen.

I'm sure they had MRI imaging on him as that would be useful to rule additional conditions inside the knee that might make the tendonitis a secondary problem (like a torn meniscus). The treatment is the usual rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, better shock absorption in shoes. Therapy includes stretching and controlled exercises also various heat modalities to the inflammed area. In a pitcher it's unlikely to resolve until enough rest can occur, which means the off-season.

He didn't have this in 2007 so I'd expect him to be OK in 2009. I saw that he did have right (his pitching elbow) tennis elbow surgery immediately after the season on 10-23-06 by Dr. David Altchek (he's quite famous in Sports Ortho, who did similar surgery on Carlos Delgado that same week) and although it's obviously unrelated to his knee issues it is an example of a chronic tendonitis that rarely needs surgery but ultimately he needed it (and presumably got better from the surgery). His stats in 2006 (74 games, 3.62 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) were better than 2008 (78G, 5.21 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) so I guess it was the same nagging thing but he put up with it pretty well. He probably had a bunch of therapy, ultrasound/deep heat rxs and a few cortisone shots for it before the elbow surgery.

Patellar tendonitis can be chronic (which isn't all that common) and then the tendon can be surgically explored or consideration to ultrasonic shockwave rx, which is more often used to treat resistant plantar fascitis (arch inflammation). A variant on such an example of surgical treatment of a chronic tendonitis was the chronic achilles tendonitis in Cliff Floyd who had surgery (also at the same hospital/same week that Heilman had surgery, but a different surgeon) on it the offseason before he signed with the Cubs. Of course if you have HMO insurance like Neal, they just tell you to change shoes.

I wasn't on an HMO either time it happened. Both times I got it, I was living in Europe (London and CPH) and doing pretty lenghty walks 3 KM's or 5 KM's each way to work in dress shoes. I'd already partaken in socialistic medicine in both those countries so decided to forgo it if possible.

Doc Martins fixed it in London. In Copenhagen I just started wearing tennis shoes to work and changed at the office.

just kidding Neal...

NY Times article on Heilman...nothing earthshattering but upbeat

Does anyone feel that Orlando Hudson would significantly improve our middle inf?

Miles/Theriot/Fontenot just doesnt do it for me. Theriot played well everyday last year, but we could use more D and Offense out of that spot. And Miles and Fonty have never played everyday.

At this point Hudson is getting screwed with the #1 Pick compensation which I cringe at giving up, but it is pick 29. Its possible Hudson could be had for 6m/yr? Switch hitter, gold glove D?

Our farm system is so thin, I just don't see any other options.

Theriot and Fontenot seem like pretty good other options.

Hudson doesn't appear to improve our defensive shortcomings at SS, as far as I can tell.

one more little detail I noticed from the Rosenthal article on the Heilman-Cedeno/Olson trade:

Hendry completed the deal while on vacation in Italy.

"He's got to feel pretty good about the deal — we finally solidified it when he was in Rome," Zduriencik said, chuckling.

What? Why didn't he give me a call? We could have gone out for donuts (zeppole).

Seriously, why was he here? Surely not vacation.

I'm satisfied with Pie + Cedeno for Heilman, because I don't think anything of Ron Ce. Heilman has a track record of ML success, he had a bad year, looks like the Cubs buy low on someone for once. A 4th OF (Pie) with no plate discipline for a better version of Jason Marquis? I'll take that.

Now if Hendry can just eat a million bucks and dump Vizcaino off on someone, he'll be doing much better here. We have more pitching depth than just about any team in baseball.

I like the talk about Orlando Hudson BTW, push Fonty into a reserve role with Miles, that would make the bench look a lot better. And Hudson could leadoff, no? A slightly inferior version of Brian Roberts at the cost of a single draft choice and 8 million bucks? Do it.

I concur with both of you on Hudson.

Bats Lefthanded. Gold Glove defense. Perennial 800+ OPS guy from 2nd base. Could probably be had with a One year incentive clad contract.

Plus we can offer him arbitration next year and get the draft pick back.

I sure as hell like him more than Aaron F'N Miles

Count me in on Hudson. I agree with both of the previous posts. I've generally enjoyed watching Hudson play.

I'd have been all about getting Hudson instead of Miles + Gathright + Vizcaino. But where is the $8 mil gonna come from? Especially if, further down the road, they're going to entertain thoughts of Peavy?

I think the infield, after Uribe, is set.

If Hudson will cost 6 and Uribe will cost 4 then it really should be a no brainer.

I'd be surprised if Uribe gets a guaranteed roster spot. I'd be flabbergasted if he gets $4 million.

I know it gets beaten to death. But prime example of what Hendry does with his finances of the team. Which is better in your opinion?

A) Hudson,Fontenot,Cedeno,Koyie Hill,Pie


B) Miles,Fontenot,Uribe,Bako,Gathright

With a little bit of planning. Jim could have had either/or for about the same money

your gonna have to map out the logic on that one for me...

I get:

A) Hudson - (lowball estimate $5M), Fontenot (high estimate $ .5M), Cedeno .822M, Koyie .4M, Pie .4M

= 7.12M

B) Miles - 2.2, Fontenot - .5M, Uribe (guess a $1M), Bako .75M, Gathright .8M

= 5.25M

plus losing a first round pick for Hudson (okay, should have gotten one for Kerry Wood)...that's at least $2M and I think Hudson wants more than $5M a year.

Hudson's still on the free market for a reason, what that is I don't know, but teams are worried about injury or something (maybe playing in a very friendly hitters park).

you missed a "." in the fonty money in a.


Heilman 1.625 in arbitration wouldn't have been added. So there is another 800K to close the gap.

I said about the same. In today's cubbie dollars. 1 million dollars shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Were paying that much to watch Jason Marquis pitch in Colorado.

rest assured, Uribe signs a $1M minor league deal with the Giants

Recent comments

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  • E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader. 

    Arizona Phil 6 min 53 sec ago view
  • PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?

    The E-Man 52 min 28 sec ago view
  • Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.

    John Beasley 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.

    Hagsag 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.

    Hagsag 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.

    paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.

    crunch 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!

    Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.

    billybucks 10 hours 46 min ago view
  • jeebus... that's terrible.

    Ryno 11 hours 47 min ago view
  • *clap* *clap* *clap*

    Brick 13 hours 48 min ago view
  • Thanks AZ. If you like him, I like him.

    Old and Blue 14 hours 42 min ago view
  • Awesome report, and good to see Beeler on his way back.

    I'm also very happy to hear about the bi-level bump for Daniel Lewis. In the Name of Theo, he was the Last of the Full-Season Cuts, and There Will Be Blood for those who unnecessarily slow his development. Sure, he might end up in independent ball pitching for Lincoln. But if everything breaks right, he may even have a shot at joining up with the Gangs of Chicago. I wouldn't bet My Left Foot on it, though.

    John Beasley 15 hours 9 min ago view
  • CHARLIE: The Cubs did the same thing with LHSP Eric Jokisch last month, and it has nothing to do with needing the player's 40-man roster slot. 

    The hope is that another MLB club will claim the player, so that you aren't on the hook for any termination pay (which you would be if you release him) AND you pick up $20,000 from the claiming team, all for a guy you don't want going forward anyway.  

    Arizona Phil 15 hours 12 min ago view
  • Moosetacos, I like it. All I can think of is a bearded lumberjack dude operating a Mexican style taco truck with a Canadian accent.

    Sonicwind75 15 hours 47 min ago view
  • How strange is this for May? Is it insignificant, or does it suggest some sort of trade might be in the works?

    Charlie 15 hours 53 min ago view
  • The Cubs have sent LHRP C. J. Riefenhauser outright to Iowa. 

    Cubs MLB 40-man roster now stands at 37 (three slots open). 

    Arizona Phil 16 hours 36 min ago view
  • yow...the a.gordon/m.moustakas collision now makes the schwarb collision look minor in scope.

    gordon broke his wrist, expected to miss 4+ weeks...and today moosetacos has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. fun times in KC.

    crunch 18 hours 9 min ago view