ESPN reports that the pitching prospect the M’s are getting with Ronny Cedeno is Garrett Olson, whom the Cubs just picked up from the Orioles for Felix Pie.
At this point, if you don’t like this trade, you’re just trying to be a curmudgeon. This is an amazingly fantastic deal for the M’s.
Olson is a 25-year-old LHP with a below average fastball, a good slider, and a solid change-up. He was the Orioles best pitching prospect the last few years, but like Cedeno, he’s been bad in the majors. However, not nearly as bad as his results would indicate.
In 132 innings for Baltimore last year, Olson had a 5.13 FIP – way, way lower than his 6.65 ERA. Just like we talked about with Silva, there’s a huge regression to the mean coming, and considering his minor league track record, quite a bit of upside beyond that.
Olson consistently struck out about one batter per inning in the minors and flashed good command as well. He’s pretty neutral on balls in play, being neither an extreme groundball or flyball guy. CHONE projects him for a 4.96 FIP for 2009, which sounds about right. He’s a #5 starter with potentially some upside as a #4 starter. Not that much unlike Aaron Heilman himself, honestly.
He’s under team control for five more years, and he won’t make any money until 2011. Adding him to Ryan Rowland-Smith, Ryan Feierabend, and Jason Vargas, the club now has four mid-20s LHPs with potential who are all under team control for the next 4-5 years. The M’s have quietly been stockpiling arms who fit perfectly into Safeco Field, and filling out the back-end of the rotation for no cost for the foreseeable future.
I’d have traded Heilman for either Ronny Cedeno or Garrett Olson. To get both is just a huge win for the M’s.