On Monday's Top Five segment of Fantasy Baseball Today, CBSSports.com MLB Insider Jon Heyman discussed how the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel will help the Athletics in their quest to reach and win the World Series. Both pitchers are certain to get a bump in Fantasy value, now that they will be backed by the highest-scoring offense in the majors, but the deal signals even bigger impacts for several other pitchers not directly involved in the trade.
In upgrading their rotation, the A's had to remove Tommy Milone and Brad Mills from their starting roles, sending Milone to Triple-A Sacramento and designating Mills for assignment. Milone should be stashed in AL-only leagues, as he could return to the rotation later in the season, should the A's need an injury replacement or someone to take over when converted reliever Jesse Chavez hits a potential innings limit. Neither scenario is a sure thing, though, because Drew Pomeranz could fill the same role, depending on when he is able to return from a broken right hand.
If Mills winds up in another team's rotation, he would still have some value in single-league (AL- or NL-only) formats.
Though the Cubs have yet to commit to long-term replacements for Samardzija and Hammel, we will get to see two of the leading candidates this week. Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to start the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader at the Reds, while Kyle Hendricks is slated to start a game later in that series. Both pitchers will be making their major league debuts, and Great American Ball Park is not an especially welcoming venue, so Fantasy owners shouldn't judge either pitcher too harshly by their first start. Both have good control, and while Wada has some strikeout potential, Hendricks may actually have a better shot against the Reds due to his strong ground ball tendencies. Both are worth targeting in NL-only leagues and even some deep mixed league formats.