Aaron Heilman has finally given the New York Mets an ultimatum. Let me be a starter or trade me. Which one is is better? I don’t know for sure but all can say is thank goodness Aaron Heilman is forcing them to make a decision.

Normally I don’t like it when an athlete makes demands. A lot of athletes ask for a lot when they don’t really deserve it. To many athletes get away with too much. When a guy like Amare Stoudamire comes out and says he wants to be traded because he wants to be “the guy” he comes off as a baby and loses my respect. But it’s a little bit different with Aaron Heilman.

Aaron Heilman came into the league as a starter In 2003 Heilman pitched 14 games, 13 of them starts. He agreed to move to a reliever position but I’m sure he always intended on returning to a starting role. I’m pretty sure the Mets probably even told him he would. Five seasons later Aaron Heilman has pitched 291 more games and only 12 of them were starts.

It is my belief in all walks of life that people do better when they are in a situation they like. Again that’s not to say anybody should get anything they want. But when you intended to be a starting pitcher and have been a relief pitcher for five years I can see how that would be frustrating and I believe a move to the starting rotation can be great for Heilman. After spending five years in the bullpen I think it was clear Heilman has had enough. He had his worst season as a reliever and I believe if he was given a chance to be a starter he would work his butt off to stay a starter.

Regardless of whether the Mets decide the answer is trade Aaron Heilman or keep Aaron Heilman and let him start I think either option is better than letting a frustrated Aaron Heilman pitch in the bullpen again in 2009.

If the Mets do decide to keep Aaron Heilman then he doesn’t have to be an ace pitcher or anything. Hopefully the Mets are working on getting that number two pitcher behind Johan Santana. After that the Mets will have Mike Pelfrey and John Maine. All Aaron Heilman will have to do is start off as the fifth pitcher. If Heilman falters then let the Jon Niese show begin. If Heilman pitches well and the Mets still want to bring up Niese then you might be able to get even more out of Heilman now that he has shown he can be a starter.

I would be fine with that idea but I think it would be even better to try and trade Aaron Heilman. Even though Aaron Heilman had a very bad 2008 the Mets will need somebody to replace him and Heilman might be the best trading chip that the Mets are willing to give up. There is a rumor that the Mets and Rockies are talking about a Heilman for Huston Street trade. Street would be a pretty good setup man to go with the recently signed Francisco Rodriguez. Then the bullpen looks much more manageable. Scott Schoeneweis can pitch against lefties before the 8th inning. Joe Smith can pitch against righties before the 8th inning. If Duaner Sanchez can some how revert back to 2006 before his injury then the Mets have something going in the bullpen.

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