I think the Braves got a good return in this deal, but I have seen some people more excited about Vazquez than I think is warranted. There are positives to the deal like a switch to the weaker NL and a move from a hitters park to a pitchers park, but let's take a look at why he is still a 3rd tier pitcher in 2009.
If one thing is true you are assured 200+ innings with Vazquez as his lowest total since 1999 has been 198 IP. He has also averaged a 8.00 K/9 in his time in the majors. Lastly his K/BB has been at or above 2.50 for every season after 1999. These are usually clear signs that I would love a guy and call him a huge value.
Why do I not like him in 2009?
I still think he is a good pitcher, but his perceived value has just gone up in fantasy leagues and you will now have to pay an extra round or two for him. In the Experts Mock Draft he went in Round 15, but I could see many leagues with him going in the 10th round or earlier.
Although Vazquez has consistently had great splits he has under produced. His career FIP is 3.95, but his ERA is 4.32. This difference seems to be based on a lowered LOB% of 70.4%. This is not extremely low, but could explain a difference of .37
The comparison is Johan Santana who has between his FIP of 3.34 with an ERA of 3.11 by having an LOB% of 77.3%. Pitchers do have some ability to control their LOB% and if Vazquez is unable to keep his LOB% over 75% he will continue to under produce his ability.
His homers against this year was at levels when he pitched in Montreal so I don't foresee his FIP being better than the 3.74 this past season, but as his BABIP regresses from .328 his hit rate should decrease. This will put him closer to 3.74, but I wouldn't expect him to be any lower even with the league change.
The remaining players in the deal are not of any value in 2009 for fantasy purposes.
Questions or comments send to TroyPatterson@RotoSavants.com