What's the fantasy value of starting pitchers not named Jered Weaver?
By acquiring Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton, Anaheim took some chances in filling out their rotation behind Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
In a down year, Wilson walked too many and wasn't as dominant as 2011 showed. His rate of empty hacks induced doesn't scream "K collector" but doesn't fully take into account his typically smart approach. He gets into his own head sometimes, though, which throws off his composure. Still, there are enough skill pieces here to make him an attractive gamble at a reduced cost. Watch for reports of his recovery from arthroscopic elbow surgery.
Vargas' home-start platoon utility should continue, given his fine 2.27 ERA in 43 2/3 career stanzas at the Big A. Remaining in a division with two other pitcher-leaning parks increases his utility, if you dare to challenge his typically bungled road performances. You'll beg for strikeouts, but he'll offer useful innings for the back end of a fantasy staff, thanks to his newfound run support.
Hanson's outlook is riskier but presents a more tantalizing buy. Acknowledge the comeuppance he'll face with the less happy league switch (hello, DHs), but again, his new digs don't like bats. You'll have fewer concerns about his health and performance if you can snag him as a fourth or fifth mixed SP - a likely outcome given his rough 2012.
Blanton ... well, at least he has solid bats backing him, which combined with his new ambience gives single-universe players more reason to add him as a relatively cheap buttress.
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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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