From the Chicago Cubs Media Relations Dept. comes this release:
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman from the Seattle Mariners for infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson.
Heilman, 30, has gone 22-33 with nine saves and a 4.24 ERA (212 ER/450.1 IP) in 305 appearances (25 starts) in all or part of the last six seasons with the New York Mets. He has limited opponents to a .245 batting average (413-for-1687) during this time, including a .241 mark (227-for-940) by righthanders and a .249 average (186-for-747) by lefthanders. Heilman has struck out 395 batters in 450.1 innings, an average of 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, while his 69 holds since the start of the 2005 season rank third in the National League.
The righthander recorded three consecutive seasons with a 3.62 ERA or lower starting with his first full major league campaign in 2005 when he went 5-3 with five saves and a 3.17 ERA (38 ER/108.0 IP) in 53 appearances, including seven starts. Starting in 2006 when he went 4-5 with a 3.62 ERA (35 ER/87.0 IP) in 74 appearances, Heilman has pitched exclusively in relief and averaged 78 appearances in each campaign.
Heilman turned in his strongest season in 2007 when he went 7-7 with one save and a 3.03 ERA (29 ER/86.0 IP) in 81 outings, setting career bests in wins, ERA and appearances. He ranked third in the National League in relief wins, fifth in appearances and tied for eighth with 22 holds. Heilman stranded 21 of his 29 inherited runners, including his first 16 of the season, and finished strong by posting a 1.85 ERA (8 ER/39.0 IP) in his final 36 outings starting July 22.
In 2008, Heilman went 3-8 with three saves and a 5.21 ERA (44 ER/76.0 IP) in 78 appearances. He averaged better than one strikeout per inning pitched (80 K/76.0 IP) and limited right-handed foes to a .222 batting average (38-for-171). Following the season, Heilman was acquired by the Mariners as part of a three-team, 12-player deal on December 10.
Heilman enjoyed a standout four-year career at the University of Notre Dame and was selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2001 Draft (18th overall). He compiled a 43-7 record with a 2.49 ERA in four years with the Irish, including a senior season in which he went 15-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 15 starts to earn first-team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball Magazine
for the fourth year in a row. Heilman graduated from Logansport (Ind.) High School and currently resides in the Chicago area.
Cedeno, who turns 26 on February 2, has played all or part of the last four seasons with the Cubs, batting .252 (228-for-904) with 13 home runs and 88 RBI in 329 career major league contests. He batted .269 (58-for-216) with 12 doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI in 99 games for the Cubs in 2008.
Olson, 25, was acquired by the Cubs from the Orioles on January 18 for outfielder Felix Pie. The southpaw made his big league debut with seven starts for Baltimore in 2007 at the age of 23 and followed up with 26 starts in 2008. Olson went 9-10 with a 6.65 ERA (98 ER/132.2 IP) last year, ranking fourth among American League rookies in starts, fifth in wins and innings pitched and sixth with 83 strikeouts.