That’s a Fantasy Baseball Look at the signings or trades of Randy Wolf, Bobby Abreu, Aaron Heilman, Rich Hill, Andruw Jones and Ty Wiggington. And, yes, I couldn’t resist the palindrome. I’m real late to the discussion on some of these. Not because I didn’t hear about them, but I just didn’t feel like they warranted immediate attention. So here’s a fantasy baseball breakdown for these offseason signings and trades:
Ty Wiggington – Last year at 2nd base he was nice to have. At 3rd base this year, he’s okay. I’d slot him in between 21 and 25 on the top 20 3rd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball. I’d prefer to take a flier on someone like Gordon or Sandoval though if you’re that deep into the position. This acquisition hurts Luke Scott’s value, but Luke Scott hurts Luke Scott’s value anyway.
Aaron Heilman - So what do Dempster, Looper, Wainwright, Dennis Eckersley if you experience time in reverse, Lowe and Duchscherer have in common? Guys that started as relievers and then found success as starters. Check one for Heilman. Quite a few of those guys weren’t that good as relievers. A big, oversized second check for Heilman. So for 2009 fantasy we expect the same from Heilman as we got last year from Dempster or Duchscherer? Honestly, I wouldn’t expect the same from those guys in 2009, let alone from Heilman. Though this whole moving a reliever to starter business does seem like an easy way to find a diamond in a ruff, at least in the short term. I think in the long term it screws pitchers up by overextending them, making them risky pitchers. Also, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that looking at Heilman’s reliever numbers mean very little. Maybe some day Rudy will break down how these relievers move to the rotation with such great results. What do I think it is? Well, thanks for asking. I think it’s part psychological. They want to start and if they get the opportunity then they do everything to show they’re capable. It’s part how few innings their arm has on it going into their inaugural season starting. It’s part magic. The only major drawback I see to Heilman is he battled some knee problems last year. If he has more problems with his knee in 2009, then he might end up giving up home runs and being useless. If he’s healthy, I like Aaron Heilman as a very late round 2009 fantasy sleeper. Yup, I said it. Finally. Who knew I had so much to say about Heilman? I sure didn’t when I started this treatise. I should’ve done my thesis at the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston on Aaron Heilman. Would’ve been a whole lot more productive than, “I Found My Thrill on Rich Hill.”
Rich Hill – Hey, wasn’t someone just talking about him? You were, Grey. Ah, yes, thank you random italicized voice. Fool me once and shame on you. Fool me twice and shame on me. Fool me three times and I should start tattooing notes on my body. If Hill’s in the rotation leaving Spring Training, he’s worth a look in AL-Only leagues, but I wouldn’t start him against 70% of the AL teams. So he’s risky to say the least.
Bobby Abreu – Nothing changes for Abreu with his move to the Angels, except maybe he’s now a lock for 20 steals whereas before he was a lock for 15 plus or minus 3. I say he’s now a lock for 20 steals because the Angels love to steal. They also don’t love to walk so it’ll be interesting to watch Abreu’s reaction on first base when Vladdy’s batting. As Rex Hudler says, “From his head to his toes, that’s how Vladdy goes.” Abreu should add about three minutes onto every Angels game. Yay, more Rally Monkey.
Randy Wolf – Good K/9 rate makes him a solid late round flier in NL-Only leagues and a $1 auction buy. Don’t expect the world, but 150 Ks and 4.50 ERA is in his wheelhouse.
Andruw Jones – In AL-Only leagues, I could see taking the flier on Andruw if he exits March with the center field job. I would not expect a bounceback to former glory like Bret Michaels post-Rock of Love. Andruw’s lost too much bat speed and gained too much girth. BTW, isn’t it ironic that absolute locks for the Hall of Fame, Dale Murphy and Andruw Jones, both played center for the Braves at the height of their career? It’s like rain on your wedding day, which is not really ironic.