Monday Sep 25, 2023

“When Ryu Hyun-jin becomes a free agent, he’s a fascinating player for any team.” Even Toronto broadcasters agree, and it’s an unexpectedly big deal.

It’s not exactly accurate, but it’s safe to say that Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) has exercised his free agency rights twice in his career. The first was in 2013, when he moved to the US Major League Baseball through the posting system (closed competitive bidding).

Of course, the posting system was not a typical free agent contract, as the team with the highest bid had exclusive negotiating rights. Ryu didn’t have the freedom to choose a team. He had to pay the posting amount to his original team, Hanwha, which meant he was at a disadvantage in negotiating his own salary.

In fact, Ryu signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, if you include the posting amount, it was a large contract of over $60 million for 6 years. In order to get to the United States two years earlier, he had to give up some money.

Ryu was eligible for free agency ahead of the 2019 season and accepted the team’s qualifying offer. At the time, he hadn’t fully recovered from his shoulder injury, so he opted to sign a one-year deal and return to free agency. After a historic 2019 season, he signed a four-year, $80 million deal with Toronto for the 2020 season. It was truly Ryu’s first free agency.

And that contract is coming to an end. His contract with Toronto ends after this season. In his first season, 2020, he was an ace, finishing third in the American League Cy Young Award voting. He had a down year in 2021, but remained in the rotation. However, in June 2022, he underwent elbow surgery and was sidelined for more than a year. It’s a four-year contract with some good memories and some not-so-good ones.

However, since returning from his injury, he has been strong. In his five starts since returning, Ryu has gone 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA. Despite the fact that his velocity isn’t back to full strength yet, he’s been winning games thanks to his excellent command and command of his pitches. He throws his four-seam, cutter, sinker, changeup, and curveball wherever he wants. Hitters never know what’s coming next. It’s the same with his delivery. It’s impossible to catch something with your eyes.

He showed off two things. First, he proved that he’s fully recovered from his elbow surgery. It gives us faith that it won’t hurt anymore. Secondly, he proved that he can still be competitive in the major leagues with his slow velocity. Ryu’s velocity and command are not something that anyone can duplicate. Even if his velocity declines with age, these abilities don’t go away easily.

As a result, Ryu will be in high demand when he hits free agency after this season. Of course, he won’t get an ace’s worth of money. It’s unlikely that he’ll get a big contract like the four-year, $80 million deal he signed four years ago. He’s also 37 years old next year. However, a one- or two-year deal could provide him with enough security. There’s always a team that needs a veteran pitcher for three to five starts to win a district, or a veteran player to anchor a rebuilding process.바카라사이트

Dan Shulman, a veteran broadcaster for Sportsnet, the Canadian sports network and host broadcaster in Toronto, agreed. “He’s a very sharp pitcher,” Schulman said of Ryu during a game against Cleveland on April 27, adding, “Don’t forget his contract is up (this year),” reminding fans that Ryu is eligible for free agency after the season.

“We have to think about it from Toronto’s perspective. Well, Ryu may not come back. They might think, ‘Let’s call it a day,'” he said, downplaying the likelihood of Ryu re-signing with Toronto, but adding, “He’s showing 30 teams that he can still do it. When he becomes a free agent, he’ll be a fascinating player to watch wherever he signs.”

“I think he can still be a good major league pitcher if any team believes he’s perfectly healthy,” Shulman said, adding that he personally doesn’t see Ryu pitching in the majors next year.

In fact, there are many major league clubs that have signed players with lesser careers and injury histories to one or two-year deals to get a feel for the game. Even veteran Rich Hill signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Pittsburgh this year. Such is the market these days. It’s also higher than when Ryu signed with Toronto. It’s just a matter of length of contract, which is why Ryu is likely to be fine with a short-term deal of $10 million or more per year. At his current pace, he could be in for quite a fight.


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