January 29, 2009
They want to convert Heilman back to a starting pitcher, and the two players used to acquire him — infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson — were part of a package that it was believed might have gone to the Padres.
Cubs management acted quickly after Tribune Co. determined the Tom Ricketts-led group as the winning bidder to buy the ballclub, and it is possible Ricketts would oppose any deal involving Peavy and his $63 million price tag.
"We've had no talks about Jake Peavy since they were well-documented during the winter meetings," assistant general manager Randy Bush said. "I don't anticipate anything happening."
Ronny Cedeno's statistics While Bush wouldn't close the door on adding a free-agent pitcher before camp opens in 15 days, Heilman becomes part of a growing mix for the fifth starter's role, which Jason Marquis filled before he was traded. Heilman will join Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin and lefty Sean Marshall as relievers being stretched out to start.
"We're ready to go to camp," said Bush, filling in for general manager Jim Hendry, who is out of the country. "We feel really, really good about the way our rotation sets up."
Heilman, who grew up in Logansport, Ind., attended Notre Dame and now lives in Chicago, welcomes the opportunity to realize "a dream come true" pitching for the Cubs and to join a rotation after a disappointing season in the Mets' bullpen. He was traded to the Mariners this off-season.