If you think the Arizona Diamondbacks' bullpen sucks now, wait until the trade deadline -- things could get even worse.
With the All-Star break less than three weeks away, and the trade deadline just a few, short weeks after that, the movers-and-shakers in Major League Baseball are assembling shopping lists of players they want to add to their rosters as they grapple for a shot at the post season.
Rumored to be on the list of New York Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman: D-Backs' reliever Aaron Heilman -- and when the cash-man comes calling, so does the Steinbrenner family checkbook.
Heilman's departure from the team wouldn't be the end of the world -- this season was apparently over before it started for the last-place-in-the-National League West D-Backs -- but for the sake of keeping games watchable, Heilman's a guy the team may want to keep around.
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Heilman is the only pitcher in the D-Backs' bullpen with an ERA under 4.00. Not that his 3.48 ERA is anything to crow about, especially in a relief spot, for the moment it's the best they've got.
Here's the breakdown from Pin Stripe Alley:
Heilman has put together a solid season for an Arizona team that is going nowhere in 2010. I would say he's the Chan Ho Park of the trade deadline - in other words, a solid veteran you'd be happy to have at the right price. Since Heilman is a free agent after 2010 and is less likely to be tied to draft pick compensation, and since his salary for the season is fairly low ($2.15 million), there figures to be interest from a number of teams. Whether he becomes a real possibility for the Yankees probably hinges on whether other teams are stupid enough to trade legitimate prospects for this kind of middle relief help.
There is some good news coming out of the Bronx for D-Backs' fans: It's rumored that Cashman is also interested in D-Backs' reliever Chad Qualls. Considering Qualls currently has an ERA of 8.88 with the D-Backs, we'd be happy to help him pack.