Ryu Hyun-jin (37) was evaluated as a quasi-class starter who can reinforce his starting rotation.
Major League Baseball’s official media MLB.com said on the 12th (Korea time), “This offseason was full of surprises. But there is one more surprising thing. The start of spring training is just around the corner, but the market is still full of outstanding players,” highlighting the players still in the market.
Many analysts say that there are not many top stars in the FA market this offseason. However, Shohei Ohtani, the biggest free agent in the FA, surprised everyone by signing a 10-year, 700-million-dollar contract with Dodgers, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the ace who dominated the Japanese pro baseball, also signed a 12-year, 325-million-dollar contract with Dodgers. Ohtani became the winner of Mike Trout’s 12-year 426.5 million-dollar contract with the Angels, as well as Lionel Messi’s 674 million-dollar contract with Barcelona. Yamamoto became the biggest player in the history of professional sports, pushing out Gerrit Cole’s nine-year, 324 million-dollar contract with the Yankees to set a new Major League record. After capturing both Ohtani and Yamamoto, the Dodgers also acquired Tyler Glasnow and Teosca Hernandez, becoming the winner of the upcoming stove league. 꽁머니환전
However, the stove league has been cold since Ohtani and Yamamoto wowed fans of the Major League. Cody Bellinger and Blake Snell, who were considered the biggest fish after Ohtani and Yamamoto, failed to find their teams, and other players are losing contracts one after another.
MLB.com named Jordan Montgomery and Matt Chapman among the remaining players in the market along with Bellinger and Snell. “They all have Scott Boras as agents,” said MLB.com , which noted that “four of the players who were considered the biggest fish when the FA market opened.” “It’s rare that players like this remain in the market until this late in the day. This gives us a chance to strengthen our strength just weeks before the season opens.”
Boras is also in charge of the agent for Ryu Hyun-jin, who qualified as an FA for the second time in his career this winter. Ryu, who has rarely heard of the contract, is likely to proceed only when Snell and Montgomery, the same left-handed starters, find their teams.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who recorded 78 wins and 48 losses with a 3.27 ERA in 186 ⅓ (1,055 innings), entered the Major League in December 2012 by signing a six-year, 36-million-dollar contract with the Dodgers, and recorded 54 wins and 33 losses with a 2.98 ERA in 126 games (740 ⅓ innings) over seven years with the Dodgers. In particular, in 2019, ahead of the FA, he played 14 wins and 5 losses with a 2.32 ERA in 29 games (182 ⅔ innings), ranking second in the National League Cy Young Award voting.
Ryu, who signed a four-year 80 million-dollar contract with Toronto in his first FA, has 24 wins and 15 losses and an ERA of 3.97 over the past four years in 60 games (315 innings). He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2022, but made a successful comeback in 11 games (52 innings) last year with three wins and three losses and an ERA of 3.46. He became a second free agent after the end of the season.
Veteran starter Ryu Hyun-jin was named the very next FA starter for Snell and Montgomery. MLB.com mentioned Michael Lorenzen and Mike Clevinger along with Ryu as options for starting pitchers who are issued 3-4 times.
“These are not the list with the most glamorous names,” MLB.com said, noting that “these pitchers can help raise the bottom of the team’s starting rotation.” “Ryu Hyun-jin returned from Tommy John surgery while playing for Toronto in 2023 and posted an ERA of 3.46. His contract with Toronto ended after that,” Ryu said.
Ryu did not completely rule out the possibility of returning to his former team Hanwha Eagles. However, he clearly nailed down that staying in the Major League is his top priority. Boras, who is known as a super agent, often uses a negotiating strategy in which he waits for a long-term battle until the season opens in the worst case scenario. Even if his contract is delayed, chances are high that he will postpone his decision as much as possible between staying in the Major League and returning to Hanwha Eagles.