Showing posts with label Aaron Heilman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aaron Heilman. Show all posts

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nailing Down the Arizona Closer Situation

After waiting entirely too long, Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch decided to remove Chad Qualls from the closer role. For the moment we are expected to believe that Aaron Heilman is the new closer. However, the D'Backs have been hesitant to place Heilman in that role. Their reasoning is not clear. Most of the bullpen has struggled and it is possible they find him more valuable in a set-up role.

Hinch added to the confusion Wednesday night by bringing Heilman into the game in the eighth inning when his team trailed 6-4. While it is true that Heilman needed the work, the result of the outing casts doubt on Heilman's hold on the job. He allowed four baserunners and two runs to score in one inning of work.

I believe that Sam Demel will be closing in Arizona in the second half. I was going to write more about Sam Demel. The D'backs just acquired him in the Connor Jackson trade. But Jason Grey has already done the job many times better than I ever could so I'll just link and sample him here.
A third-round pick in the 2007 draft (one pick after the Chicago White Sox drafted current Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher John Ely), Demel both started and closed in college at TCU, but the 6-foot right-hander has been viewed strictly as a reliever in the pros. The A's have drafted a number of hard-throwing relief arms in recent years (Demel, Andrew Bailey, Jeff Gray, Jared Lansford, Andrew Carignan) in the hopes that some of them pick up the necessary secondary pitches and/or command to stick in the majors...

...In terms of his fantasy value, the main thing to talk about with Demel in the short term is opportunity, as the D-backs are looking for someone, anyone, to step up in the later innings. Aaron Heilman is getting a chance to run with the ball for the moment in the ninth, almost by default. But Heilman has had far more success against left-handed hitters this year thanks to his changeup; his ability to get tough righties out in the ninth is still in question. The expectation is that Demel could quickly find his way to some high-pressure situations if he adapts well to the major leagues.
Read the rest of the article for a great write-up of his skills and ability as a pitcher. As Jason points out the key is that Demel has a huge opportunity to work his way into the role quickly. The rest of the Arizona bullpen has been horrible. There is no one (with the exception of Heilman and a possible return to Qualls at some point) in the way of Demel becoming the closer. He should be picked up by any owner in any type of league where saves are at a premium.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hot Stove Update: Heilman, Thompson, Grabow and Stuff!

(This bad-ass photo of Cy Young Winner Tim Lincecum was taken by Brad Mangini of

You should see the Yankees Fantasy Report later this afternoon. The Hot Stove season has wasted little time getting going. We have already seen a handful of trades and signings. The Rule V draft is coming and there always seems to be someone drafted that has a major league impact. Last year it was Everett Cabrera who I attempted to grab in my primary NL-only but failed to acquire. The lesson I learned is not to wait until dollar days for the guys you really want. Even if you expect to get them for $2, there is always some owner who hasn't spent his money hanging around to steal your guy! Okay, maybe it was his guy too, but you take my meaning.

The Arizona Diamondbacks strengthened their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Aaron Heilman from the Cubs for a pair of minor leaguers. (LINK)

I like this move for the Diamondbacks. Heilman is not an ideal closer but he has stuff that I think he can rediscover if he's over his pouting about being a starter. Oddly, Heilman was dealt to save the Cubs a few bucks which they used to sign a lesser pitcher. But more on that later. The D'Backs are thin enough in the bullpen that Heilman becomes a potential saves candidate should anything happen to Chad Qualls. The minor leaguers don't appear to be worthy of fantasy consideration at this point.

The Royals agreed to a Minor League contract with former Cardinals right-hander Brad Thompson. (LINK)

This is a good move by the Royals. If Dayton Moore understands anything about team building it is that good relievers can be had. Thompson is unestablished by showed some tools in the past. It was worth the minor league contract to find out if he can harness them. We will have to wait to see how things develop for the Royals before deciding on his chances of having some fantasy impact.

The Cubs and left-hander reliever John Grabow have agreed on a two-year deal worth $7.5 million. (LINK)

Dave Cameron of went off on this earlier but Grabow is a lefty specialist who is overrated due to his ERA. We fantasy owners like it when our relievers experience good fortune but we smart fantasy owners don't bet on it happening again.

Free-Agent outfielder Jason Bay rejected an offer believed to include four years and around $60 million. This comes from's Jon Heyman. (LINK)

I have no inside information on how far the Red Sox are willing to go to sign Jason Bay. However, if this report is true and Bay really wanted to return to Boston he probably should have taken the deal. Bay will probably find someone willing to give him more years but I doubt he'll do much better on an annual basis. I do think Bay will continue to be a pretty good fantasy player for a few more years but we've already seen his steal totals erode along with his defense. It is all downhill from here.

Tom Hicks may manage to hold on to the Texas Rangers. Hicks is putting together a group of local investors, including Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, for a bid that would enable him to keep majority ownership of the team. (LINK)

I hope Hicks pulls it off. The Rangers have been doing incredibly good work lately. I would hate to see it screwed up by some idiot looking to make an impact.

Tim Lincecum won the 2009 NL Cy Young Award, and became the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson won four straight times from 1999-2002. (LINK)

I love Timmy. There is no pitcher I would rather have on a fantasy team right now.

Zack Greinke won the 2009 AL Cy Young beating Felix Hernandez by a wide margin. (LINK)

I love Zack. There is no pitcher I would rather have on an AL-only fantasy roster right now. If you listen to Greinke's comments you can see that he still suffers quite a bit of social anxiety. I hope he's continuing to get help.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Updates From the Winter Meetings

The trades just keep coming from Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings. I've written more updates on the blog and now of course I share them with you.

CC Sabathia Agrees to Pitch for the New York Yankees
In the end the New York Yankees refused to take no for an answer. CC Sabathia had no issues with playing in New York his problem was that he really wanted to live and play on the West Coast. Unfortunately for Sabathia none of the West Coast teams were willing to step to the plate. It might have dragged on even longer but Brian Cashman was so determined to sign him that he left the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas to meet with Sabathia and his wife in San Francisco. Cashman also added another year onto the contract and gave Sabathia the ability to opt out of the contract after three seasons.The final deal was for seven years and $161 million.
Closer J.J. Putz Traded in Three Team Deal
The Mets received closer (now set-up man) J.J. Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed, and right-hander Sean Green from Seattle. The Mariners received outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and, from the Mets, right-hander Aaron Heilman, center fielder Endy Chavez and four Minor Leaguers -- first baseman Mike Carp, right-hander Maikel Cleto, left-hander Jason Vargas and center fielder Ezekiel Carrera. The Indians received right-hander Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from the Mariners.
The Detroit Tigers Acquire RHP Edwin Jackson
The Detroit Tigers have sent outfielder Matt Joyce to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-hander Edwin Jackson. The trade fills a need on both teams. The Tigers needed a healthy starter to eat some innings. While the Rays needed a corner outfielder.

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