Reviewing the Mega Deal: Julio Rijo Leaves Madison

by 11:34 AM 0 comments
Every once in a great while in this game of HBD, a player comes along who redefines what it means to be elite.  On August 15th, 2012 at 3:03pm EST, Zyrion of the then "rebuilding" Syracuse Magma signed <a style="color:black;" href="http://www.whatifsports.com/hbd/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5125671" target="_blank">Julio Rijo</a> to a record $42 million dollar signing bonus to play fake baseball in Syracuse.  In addition to changing the landscape of Plumpy forever (for newer owners, this signing prompted the development of the league's Minimum Win Requirement), Rijo immediately became the top prospect in the league.

His projections looked legendary, to the extent that when two weeks after the signing Rijo tore his labrum, some league members wondered aloud if the game makers let Rijo slip through by mistake and set him back with the injury to level the playing field.  2 World Championships, 9 All-Star Game appearances, and 6 Cy Young Awards later, the verdict is in: Julio Rijo was no mistake, he's just that damn good.

The question then must be asked, how could an owner of this fake man who has 223 career wins and 2,771 career strikeouts (all accrued before turning 30 this season!) possibly trade such a player?  Well, trade rumors began circulating when Zyrion revealed on World Chat that Rijo would not re-sign with the team after his contract expires this season.  Rather than risk the unpredictable Type A FA market, he made Rijo available in hopes of landing significantly more of a return than he would likely get next season.  The results are the mega deal that went down last night, almost three real years to the day when Rijo was first signed, between the now Madison Magma and the Fargo Malvos.  Let's take a look at why this trade should be a win for the Magma, and why it should be a win for the Malvos as well.

The Deal: 

Madison Magma get https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=7301723, https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=6892554, and https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=6761635

Fargo Malvos get https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5125671, https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5917254, https://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=4245077

Why it's a win for Madison:

Let's start with the main prize of the return package for Rijo, which is Geraldo Terrero.  Terrero is a true blue chip prospect, signed out of El Seibo, DO last season.  Not only is he already Major League ready, he could make the All-Star team this year, and he's only 21.  With a versus righty split already at 86 and velocity in the high 80s as well, it is not hard to project this SP having both important ratings climb into the mid-90s before his development is complete.  He's not Julio Rijo, but he is a rotation anchor, and is far more of a return than Zyrion would have received next season on the open FA market.

In addition to Terrero, Juan Esposito is a legit ML bat at 1B, and while questions remain about his defense, his potential to OPS close to .900 against RHP makes him a valuable acquisition as well.  Cecchini should slot into the back end of the rotation at some point, though that ugly vs. Lefty rating may prove a hinderance.  In short, Zyrion received 3 future MLers, 1, possibly 2 All-Stars, with Terrero having a shot at winning a Cy Young award or two throughout his career.  Addiitonally, Zyrion cleared $16 million off the books, giving him room to be a player in FA if he so chooses to be this season.  Whether or not Zyrion turns this into the beginning of a full on re-build has yet to be seen, though early indications are that he's willing to move more of his elite veterans for prospects as well.

Why it's a win for Fargo:

They get Julio F'ing Rijo, the greatest pitcher in league history.  Boom, end of story,  Nunez and Nieves are solid additions as well, but this side of the debate starts and ends with Rijo.  Yes, it's only for one season, and yes, losing Terrero to a division rival may sting for the next 11 seasons, but... IT'S JULIO RIJO!  This franchise already won the championship last season, and immediately becomes the favorite to win it again in Season 36.  Fargo also now has the extremely advantageous "home field tie breaker" should they decide to go to a max offer on Rijo next season.  Rijo will undoubtedly hit the open market next season, and if he returns to Fargo, this trade unquestionably will go down as a win-win for both teams.  If Fargo doesn't win the championship this season then loses Rijo to FA while winding up with a mid comp round + 2nd round pick for him, it will be harder to call this one a win for the Malvos.  Then again, it's Julio F'ing Rijo; who wouldn't want to have him for at least one season just to enjoy the ride?

Zachary Eustis

Developer

Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111

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