Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hope He Didn't Unpack

Just about a week since arriving in Chicago, Garrett Olson is one the move again. He was packaged with short-stop Ronny Cedeno in a deal for right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman, who himself was just recently acquired by the Mariners from the Mets in the JJ Putz deal.

The Cubs basically traded Felix Pie and Cedeno for Heilman and his increasing tRAs (2.12 in 2005, to 3.04 to 4.45 to 5.80 last year). That seems like a pretty horrible deal to me, even if Chicago had no use for those two guys.

For the M's this is a great deal. Cedeno should be a capable back-up at short and second for them, and Olson (5.26 tRA last year) is, in my opinion, as good as Heilman already. Seattle plays in a pitcher's park where Olson's fly-ball tendencies will play well; that may give him some confidence to go after hitters more. He was great in his one start there last year for the O's, going eight shut-out innings before giving up three singles in the ninth which Lance Cormier allowed to score.

The assumption all winter was that an Olson-to-Chicago trade was a precursor to the Cubs acquiring Jake Peavy (with Olson and others going to San Diego). Boy did they come up short.


Matt Kremnitzer said...

Unless the Cubs are going to ship Heilman to the Padres in a possible Peavy deal, this trade didn't make much sense to me either (for the Cubs). I don't even think Heilman is that good anyway -- and he's 29.

I agree that pitching in Seattle could help Olson, but he also won't be pitching against the Mariners there, which doesn't help.

With Hernandez, Bedard, Washburn, Rowland-Smith, Silva, and Morrow, do you think he'll even make their rotation? Does he have any minor league options left?

I think he'll pitch ok if given the chance, but I don't think his confidence will be too high if he's in the bullpen instead of the rotation.

FrostKing said...

I believe Olson does have an option left, but he's probably in the competition for the 5th rotation spot. Otherwise he may start out in the pen as a long-man.

I expect him to start the year in the latter role, but eventually move into the rotation after a trade or injury.

You're right that he won't be pitching against the M's offense, but he will be pitching in front of what should be the best defensive outfield in the majors (Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro).