Kendrys Morales-Jason Vargas swap knocks over fantasy dominoes

      December 20, 2012 @ 10:27:30 PDT

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Jason Vargas
Grade A in the Big A?

The owner of a beastly string-pull, the control-friendly Vargas refined his two-seamer last year, one of the main reasons in improving his chances to survive outside of the suffocating Safeco incarnation. His starts away from Seattle were still risky to deploy for his fantasy managers, especially with his homer allowance.

The same platoon should hold true, to an extent, for the Big A, where over seven career games (six starts), he's posted a 2.27 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with a .244 opponents' average in 43 2/3 frames. Not bad.

Sticking with his split arrangement should affix him as a valuable-when-needed fantasy back-ender, especially with his new offense to back him up and sustain his possibilitiy of matching the 14 victories he accumulated last year. Be careful, though. Though his makeup says he can outpitch his peripherals once again, his lack of K's (despite an upward K% trend three years running) and likely strand-rate comeuppance limit his upside for what he'll cost in single-universe formats.

Ditching Morales move may help preserve Josh Hamilton's health at least for 2013, making him a smidge safer to own. (Still not an unquestioned victory, as you'll see when KFFL's projections are released!) He's lined up to split designated hitter duties with glove-challenged Mark Trumbo, whose first-half clip will remain a distant memory in his Adam Dunn-type work.

More importantly, Jerry Dipoto gave me an early Christmas present by opening up an everyday role - in some form - for power-speed threat Peter Bourjos, one of my favorite rebound candidates for 2013. (#FreePeterBourjos didn't get much time to catch on in the Twitterverse, unfortunately.) Rank him as an optimal fourth or fifth outfielder target in deep mixed leagues that may slip beneath many radars.

Now about that Vernon Wells guy....

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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