Missed by yours truly while preparing for a long evening of partying with Stuart Scott, Little Steven and the members of P.OD. was the following item yesterday from Newsday’s Jim Baumbach.

Aaron Heilman has told the Mets on several occasions that if he is not going to be a starter in 2006, he wants to be traded, agent Mark Rodgers said Friday.

“He’s been polite but persistent,” Rodgers said. “He’s enjoyed the Mets, the city and the people, but he can do the math. He knows right now there’s no room for him. ”

According to Rodgers, the last time Heilman told Minaya about his desire to be a starter was just a few weeks ago, when the GM called Heilman after he returned from a successful stint starting in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Rodgers said Heilman, who went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in six winter ball starts, told Minaya, “The reason why I went and played winter ball was to prove that I can start.”

The Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch reports the Mets are in negotiations to add Ron Darling to the club’s SportsNet NY broadcast booth alongside Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez.

With all due respect to Darling, who was hardly the worst thing about Washington Nationals telecasts last season (said honor going to Cristian Guzman), Cohen is more than capable of carrying Hernandez and it is hard to imagine how 3 heads are better than 2 in this instance.