Mariners sign right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Heilman, 33, is a veteran of nine Major League seasons with the New York Mets (2003-2008), Chicago Cubs (2009) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2010-2011). He has appeared in 477 games (25 starts), including his last 450 as a reliever. Over the last six seasons (since 2006), Heilman has made 405 relief appearances, tied for 7th-most in the Majors (373 appearances from 2006-2010 ranked 3rd-most). He made at least 70 relief appearances in five consecutive seasons from 2006-2010.

Last season the right-hander appeared in 32 games for the Diamondbacks, going 4-1 with a 6.88 ERA (27 ER, 35.1 IP). He was released by Arizona on July 19, and finished out the season at the Triple-A level in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh organizations.

Heilman was a Mariner for a little over a month prior to the 2009 season, after being acquired from the Mets as part of a 12-player, 3-team trade in exchange for RHP J.J. Putz, RHP Sean Green and OF Jeremy Reed on Dec. 11, 2008. He was then traded to the Cubs on Jan. 28, 2009 in exchange for LHP Garrett Olson and INF Ronny Cedeño.

Heilman was originally selected by the Mets in the first round (18th overall) of the 2001 June draft following an All-American career at the University of Notre Dame.