Posted on 19 November 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs traded Aaron Heilman to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2 prospects today. The move was done to move an arbitration-eligible player like Heilman – the Cubs still have 7 other players who are arbitration-eligible. That list includes – Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot, Sean Marshall, Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill and Angel Guzman.
Heilman made 70 appearances for the Chicago Cubs during the 2009 MLB schedule – his only season with the Cubs, the team that he rooted for as a kid growing up in Indiana. Heilman went 4-4 with 1 save and 6 blown saves. He had a 4.11 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, striking out 65 while walking 34.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry explained the move this way: “As we move forward in the winter, the way our big league club sets up and the way we have a lot of arb guys, we felt we needed to move some people a little bit before we get to Indianapolis… We feel like we got two solid prospects from the Diamondbacks… We feel we have some young arms who can take [Heilman's] place in that part of the bullpen.” Those arms include Guzman, Esmailin Caridad and Justin Berg.
So just who did the Cubs get for Heilman:
Lefty Scott Maine – 4-5 with a 2.90 ERA and 7 saves in Double A and Triple A during 2009.
2nd baseman Ryan White – .266 batting average with 6 HR’s, 52 RBI’s and a .371 on-base percentage at the Class A level in 2009.
Posted on 02 November 2009 by Lou
I am thrilled with the prospect of having Carlos Marmol as the Cubs’ closer for the entire 2010 MLB schedule. Marmol was a rock in save situations at the end of the 2009 season – racking up 11 straight saves (in saves situations) from August 23rd on. Marmol did have 3 hiccups in non-save situations, suffering 2 losses and giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 5 walks in the process. But if you ignore those situations, Marmol was as reliable as it gets for a closer. Barring any off-season setbacks, Marmol should be good to go to shoulder the load for the Cubs in 2010.
Esmailin Caridad pitched very well for the Cubs at the end of the season, but his experience is a factor (he is only 26 years old). In 14 appearances, Caridad went 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 17 strikeouts and just 3 walks. John Grabow also pitched well – 30 appearances, 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and 12 walks. Grabow is also left-handed, but he is a free agent and the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry still have a little work to do in order to sign him. The Cubs also have Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Justin Berg, John Gaub, David Patton, Jeff Samardzija and Jeff Stevens.
Spring Training 2010 will give each of these players a chance to prove their worth as a reliable and dependable reliever out of the pen. Manager Lou Pinella and his staff will have to be at the top of their game to make sure they select the right combination of players that gives the Cubs the best chance to be successful in 2010.