Fox Sports’ Dayn Payne surveys the state of the Mets’ starting rotation and pours icy cold water all over my pleas for Aaron Heilman to take the 4th or 5th spot.

Heilman came up through the minors as a starter, but he’s mostly worked out of the bullpen over the last two seasons. As well, in 133.2 innings as a major league starter, Heilman has a grisly 5.93 ERA. So perhaps he’s best suited to relief detail. As well, after the loss of Chad Bradford, who signed with the Orioles, the Mets can’t afford to dip into their right-handed relief corps for rotation help. As a result, trading Heilman or deploying him as a starter doesn’t make sense for New York.

On the market, the best option might be Mulder. He likely won’t be ready for opening day, but the Mets figure to have room to breathe in the NL East. In other words, they can give him time to convalesce without getting buried in the standings. In Queens, Mulder would be reunited with his Oakland pitching coach Rick Peterson, and he’d also be toiling in a park that’s tough on right-handed hitters (always nice for a lefty). Also, his groundball tendencies would dovetail nicely with the strong Mets infield defense. The Cardinals, Indians and Rangers are the frontrunners to sign Mulder at the moment, but Minaya and the Mets should join the scrum in a hurry.

A 5.93 ERA over 132 innings?  Sounds like the next $50 million man to me.

Bad enough that has to offer a straight profile of every player on this year’s Hall Of Fame ballot (including those with little or no chance of being elected, but why bother quizzing Bret Saberhagen without bringing up his recent declaration that he’d not accept enshrinement?