Though at no point in 2006 was Aaron Heilman considered a viable option for the Mets’ rotation, someone else in the NL thinks he can start, writes the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry will try to bring in one or two front-line starters through free agency or via the Japanese market, but sources indicate Hendry also may get involved in trade talks with the New York Mets in hopes of acquiring right-hander Aaron Heilman.

If the Cubs nab Heilman, he would be given a chance to earn the fifth starter’s spot in spring training, along with veteran Wade Miller, whom the Cubs hope to re-sign. Mark Prior’s uncertain status will force the Cubs to go to spring training with a surplus of starting pitching candidates.

Heilman served up the game-winning home run to St. Louis’ Yadier Molina in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series and may be used as trade bait this off-season, according to a New York Times report.