Sources: Heilman hopes for starter job

Published Jan. 18, 2011 12:00 a.m. EST

Aaron Heilman finally is getting his chance to start again.

The Diamondbacks reached agreement with the free-agent right-hander on Tuesday and intend to audition him for their rotation, major-league sources said.

Heilman, 32, turned down more money from other clubs for the chance to compete for a spot as a starter with the Diamondback, according to one source.

All but 25 of Heilman's career 445 appearances have been out of the bullpen. He has made 70 or more relief appearances in each of the past five seasons, but maintained his desire to become a starter again.


The Diamondbacks' rotation presently includes left-handers Joe Saunders and Zach Duke and right-handers Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Barry Enright.

Heilman, who also spent last season with the D-Backs, could become a setup man for new closer J.J. Putz if the team prefers to use him as a reliever.