Report: Heilman wants exit from bullpen, or else trade from Mets

Aaron Heilman, who had more than 20 starts for the
New York Mets before moving to the bullpen in 2006, wants to get back into the starting rotation.

If that doesn't happen, Heilman's agent says, then the pitcher would like to go somewhere where he can be a starter again.

"The object the entire time has never been to get out of New York," Heilman's agent, Mark Rodgers, told the New York Daily News. "The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he's ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher."

The Daily News reported that Mets front-office personnel are divided about what to do with Heilman, with Jeff Wilpon, the team's chief operating officer, in favor of keeping him.

"The objective is not to be traded," Rodgers told the newspaper. "The objective is to get out of the bullpen."

But a Mets team official told the Daily News on Wednesday that the Mets are maintaining their stance of keeping Heilman, 30, as a reliever, regardless of how many established starters they might have.

Heilman, drafted out of Notre Dame in 2001, made 25 starts from 2003 to 2005, going 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA. In 2006, however, he was moved to the bullpen, where he has served as a set-up man. Last season, he finished 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA, with five blown saves, and gave up 44 earned runs, the most in his three seasons as a reliever.