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[X] Custom Fantasy Baseball Advice: Is Pujols worth a Monster Deal?

The following article was written by’s team of expert analysts, in response to a question asked by one of our RotoBaller readers.  You can click here for more info if you’re interested in having RotoBaller’s experts answer a custom fantasy baseball question.

Question Submitted to RotoBaller

Need advice on a trade. I offered Strasburg in an attempt to acquire Albert Pujols.  I've been hoping that I could grab Pujols as he seems to be heating up. I'm third in my league, but the guy in fourth has Puig and has moved from ten points behind me to three in the space of a single week. I'm not getting much from my first basemen (Rizzo cold, Moreland just off DL, just grabbed Konerko off waivers) so I feel I need to make a move to upgrade my offense. The guy returned a counteroffer of: Pujols, Kinsler, Liriano, Mark Reynolds and Brandon Morrow for my Darvish, Strasburg, Gomez, Kipnis, Donaldson There's no way I'm doing that. I'm considering a counteroffer of my Gomez, Iwakuma, Donaldson for Pujols. Good move?

  • Player Pool: Mixed
  • # of Teams: 12
  • League Info and Categories: Yahoo! 12-team roto, 5x5, redraft
  • Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 U, 5 BN, 1 DL
  • Any Other League Details: 

    My roster
    Victor Martinez (C), Rizzo (1B), Kipnis (2B), Zimmerman (3B), Franklin (SS), McCutchen (OF), Gomez (OF), Pence (OF), Revere (U), Konerko (U), Donaldson (B), Rendon (B), Moreland (B), Darvish (P), Strasburg (P), Iwakuma (P), Minor (P), Teheran (P), Mujica (RP), Gregg (RP), Bell (RP), Kluber (B), Pineda (B), Beachy (DL).  
    His roster: Santana (C), Goldschmidt (1B), Phillips (2B), Reynolds (3B), Hardy (SS), Cruz (OF), Dunn (OF), Ibanez (OF), Pujols (U), Lind (U), Liriano (P), Verlander (P), Rodney (RP), Nathan (RP), Janssen (RP), Lee (P), Colon (P), Gonzalez (P), Carp (B), Kinsler (B), McLouth (B), Sandoval (B), Masterson (B), Morrow (DL).


RotoBaller Detailed Analysis

Thanks again for submitting your question to RotoBaller.
Let's get right to the heart of it.  Offering Gomez, Iwakuma and Donaldson is too much for Pujols. I would advise against you doing that deal.  If it were just Gomez and Iwakuma, I still think I would advise against that deal.  Here's why I don't like either iteration:
  • All three guys you're giving up have outperformed Pujols to date-- in the case of Iwakuma and CarGo Mini, each has put up elite numbers;
  • The peripheral stats support Iwakuma's, Gomez's and Donaldson's performances to date;
  • A few caveats: Iwakuma may give up some more hits and see his best-among-all-starters 0.89 WHIP rise a bit. Donaldson's BA will probably finish in the .285-.295 range, and Gomez's BA should finish in the .290 range, but overall each of these players has very strong underlying peripheral statistics, implying that each can easily maintain 85-90% of their current performance level over the rest of the season;
  • Pujols has been much better in June with numbers close enough to his career norms to make you think it's possible he can continue it the rest of the year, but there are some underlying numbers that make me doubt this possibility: he is swinging and missing more often than he ever has before, and he is making less contact on pitches both inside of and outside of the zone than he ever has.  He could finish the year with 30 HR, 105 RBI, and a .285 BA, which means he'll be very good down the stretch.
  • However, a very good Pujols is just not enough for a borderline elite pitcher, a high-end outfielder and an above average 3B. You would need primetime elite Albert to make that deal worth it. It's not even clear that you're getting the best player in the deal-- likely, but not clear.
As far as your 1B situation, I think a rotation of Konerko (nice pickup as he's heating up and seeing the ball much better), a healthy Moreland and Rizzo is very serviceable.  If you play the hot hand and the matchups (don't start Moreland against LHP for example), these guys should definitely provide solid production from 1B the rest of the way.  With two UTIL spots, it's OK to be carrying three 1B.
What I would try is maybe Iwakuma and Donaldson, or if the other owner likes brand name value, Iwakuma and Zimmerman for Pujols.  If you're getting Pujols back it could also serve you well to trade a 1B, though no one of Rizzo, Moreland or Konerko would bring back all that much right now, so that's a little tougher.  Another suggestion is to upgrade your C. V-Mart has been terrible, his monster game yesterday not withstanding. If you could upgrade your C using your 1B and pitching depth, that could benefit you a lot.


Net Net 

I would stay away from the deal that you suggested, unless you could take CarGo Mini out and still get it done.  Your team is really solid, and your collection of 1B should come around eventually-- don't overreact to a big week from the fourth-place team. At the same time, it's great to look for upgrades, but you don't need to take out huge chunks of your roster  to get a past-his-prime slugger.

I hope this was helpful, and please continue to hit us up when you need fantasy baseball advice.


All the best,

Alex Roberts -