MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, has reported that the “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) is expected to sign a long-term contract in free agency after this season.
MLB.com mentioned Ryu in an article titled “9 prospective free agents who should finish the 2023 season strong” on Aug. 8 (KST). Ryu will be eligible for free agency for the second time since coming to the United States after this season.
“Typically, pitchers who undergo elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) take a long time to get back on track, but Hyun-jin Ryu has been a different story,” MLB.com wrote, noting that the right-hander has pitched 34 innings in seven starts since returning from injury, posting a 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to help fill a void in Toronto’s starting rotation.
From his debut with the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO in 2006 through 2012, Ryu compiled a career record of 98-52-1 with one save and a 2.80 ERA in 190 games in South Korea. In 2006, he was a monster, going 18-6 with a 2.23 ERA and one save in 30 games, winning the wins, ERA, and strikeout titles. He is the only player to win both the Rookie of the Year and the regular season MVP.
After reaching the major leagues through the posting system after the 2012 season, he wrote the myth of the “Korean Monster” success story. The Los Angeles Dodgers paid a hefty transfer fee of $27.53 million to acquire Ryu. In addition, the Dodgers gave Ryu a total of $36 million (approximately KRW 48 billion) over six years, recognizing his value to the KBO.
Ryu has proven himself to be an excellent choice for the Dodgers. In 2013, his rookie season, he went 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 games, and in 2014, he went 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 26 games, showing the promise of a top-tier starter.
He underwent shoulder surgery prior to the 2015 season and spent the following year rehabbing, but made a successful comeback in 2017 with a 5-9 record and 3.77 ERA in 25 games. In 2018, he continued his upward trajectory with a strong performance, going 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 15 games.
The 2019 season was his best year in the majors. He went 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA, a career-high. His ERA was a monster, ranking first in the majors that season. Considering he missed the 2015-2016 season due to surgery and rehabilitation, the four-year, $36 million contract was a very successful signing for the Dodgers.
Ryu exercised his free agency rights after the 2019 season and left the Dodgers. Toronto, desperate to bolster its pitching staff, paid a hefty $80 million over four years to land the “Korean Monster”.
Ryu excelled as an ace in 2020, going 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 12 games in a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he struggled in 2021, going 14-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 31 games before going under the knife with an elbow injury last year.
Ryu’s big league career took a major hit last June when he underwent elbow ligament reconstruction surgery. He was 35 years old at the time of the surgery, and it was unclear if he would be able to remain competitive once he returned to the mound after rehabilitation.
But Ryu has bounced back like a “monster. Since returning to the big leagues early last month, he has gone 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA in seven starts. Except for a four-inning no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on May 8, when he was hit in the leg by a pitch, he has gone five innings in each of his appearances, proving that his durability is not an issue.
In his most recent outing, against the Oakland Athletics on July 7, he pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. His fastball is sitting in the low-to-mid 140s, which is about three to four kilometers away from his prime, but he’s been able to overcome hitters with a mix of pitches, including a slower curveball with a big drop, a cut fastball, and his main weapon, a circle changeup.
With his resurgence, the U.S. media’s view of Ryu is changing in a positive way. Given the value of veteran starting pitchers in today’s major league market, Ryu should be able to command a multi-year contract.
“Ryu, 36, won’t get the four-year, $80 million deal he signed with Toronto four years ago, but if he continues his current form, he should be able to get a multi-year deal in free agency,” MLB.com explained.
Toronto has 22 games remaining in the regular season. The Jays are in the thick of the wild-card race for the American League postseason, so they’re hoping that Hyun-jin will be able to contribute in the four or five games he’s expected to start. 카지노
If Ryu can maintain his current value over the remainder of the season, he’ll have a better chance of spending the offseason in Stovrig. With 78 wins in his big league career, he’ll need the security of a long-term deal to help him reach 100.