After appearing in 70 games as one of the most consistent arms in the hapless
Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen last year, Aaron Heilman is back with the Snakes.
He signed a one-year, $2 million deal that was below market value because the
Diamondbacks gave him assurances that he would be in the mix for a spot in the
"Aaron Heilman was seeking an opportunity this offseason to become a starting
pitcher and we were looking to acquire additional veteran depth to compete for a
starting rotation spot," general manager Kevin Towers said. "Heilman will have a
chance to compete for the fifth spot in our rotation this spring."
The Diamondbacks' rotation appeared to be set with veteran southpaws Zach Duke
and Joe Saunders lending stability to an exciting trio of young right-handers:
Daniel Hudson, Ian Kennedy, and Barry Enright. Heilman, who has always had
designs on starting but who carries an appalling 5-13 record and 5.93 ERA in 25
career starts, does give the rotation some additional depth.
"We’re willing to give him an opportunity to go battle it out against guys
like Duke and Enright and see if he can win the job,” Towers said. “If he
doesn’t, we certainly didn’t give him any guarantees... he would go back in the
Saunders is one of two arbitration-eligible players who came to terms with
Arizona today. After leading all of Major League Baseball with 17 losses
last season, Saunders will make $5.5 million in 2011. Stephen Drew, the
other player who came to terms, actually inked a two-year deal worth $13.75
million that includes a mutual $10 million option for 2013, which is his first
season of free agent eligibility.
The Diamondbacks also formally announced their signing of utility player
Willie Bloomquist. That transaction had been reported several days
To make room for Heilman and Bloomquist
on the 40-man roster, the Diamondbacks
designated right-handers Daniel Stange
and Brian Sweeney for assignment.
Kelly Johnson and Miguel Montero are the
two arbitration-eligible players who
have yet to come to terms with Arizona.
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