Even when the Jake Peavy talks were dead, they weren't dead. They wouldn't die. They were the cockroach of Cubs trade rumors, albeit a really attractive cockroach that most Cubs fans would warmly welcome to Wrigley Field. (Metaphor: failed.)
Today, though, whatever was left of the Peavy rumors might have been exterminated once and for all. (Metaphor fail times two.) The Cubs have traded shortstop Ronny Cedeno and pitching prospect Garrett Olson for Mariners reliever Aaron Heilman, according to ESPN.com. Olson was one of the prospects mentioned in most of the rumors surrounding Peavy; his involvement in today's trade might mean the Cubs have officially, totally, 100-percent-for-real given up on the Padres ace.
More importantly, who is Aaron Heilman? He's a 30-year-old right-handed reliever with a career record of 22-33 in 305 career appearances. He was involved in the Mets' trade for J.J. Putz earlier this offseason, and had yet to take a single throw for the Mariners. His WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched) is disconcertining: After three straight years of low, 1.0-1.1ish numbers, it skyrocketed to 1.592 last season. That could be a fluke year, or it could be the product of an aging arm.
The Cubs will have to figure out that puzzle quickly: Heilman has expressed interest in being a starter, and could be the fifth piece in the Cubs' rotation that Hendry has been slathering for all season. Will Heilman's arm hold up as a starter? Or is he relegated to relief duty? Either way, the Cubs have a solid acquisition on their hands. But Jake Peavy, he is not.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.