How can I replace Wainwright? I can’t.
He did what an expert ought to do when we get in a bind: offer expert advice. As Lawr cogently said, replacing a top pitcher such as Wainwright is tough. I plugged the projections with Wainwright’s stats into the Draft software (offered by Mastersball to its Platinum subscribers) and obtained the following chart for the wins category:
After replacing Wainwright with the best possible free agent alternative, the wins category looks like this:
As you can see, there is a major loss of 6 points which will be hard to overcome no matter what I do during the season. Based on this finding, and on Lawr’s advice, I concluded that my best bet is to ensure that I do not damage the Strikeout, ERA and WHIP categories in a futile attempt to gain a few points in the wins category. It is extremely difficult to catch up once a team falls behind in ERA and WHIP. Hence my free agent strategy appears sound. Of the pitchers who Lawr proposed, Jake Peavy and James McDonald seem to be the best fit. Early spring training rumors are that Peavy is healthy again and our projected ERA and WHIP for McDonald for this coming season are respectively below 3.8 and around 1.3.
But, out of curiosity, who does Hager have on his team for such a stellar total of wins? His pitchers are (the drafted rounds are in parenthesis): Clayton Kershaw (6), Jered Weaver (8), Tim Hudson (11), John Danks (16), Ervin Santana (19), Carl Pavano (22) and Brett Cecil (25). In retrospect, I may have been a bit hasty taking Wainwright in the fourth.