The Los Angeles Dodgers were the winning bidders for left handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers submitted a bid of $25.7 million which was accepted by the Hanwha Eagles. The Dodgers will have thirty days to work out a contract with Ryn.
Ryu is considered by many to be ready for the major leagues. Where he fits in on a staff that includes Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly is unknown. Agent Scott Boras says that Ryu will be used as a starting pitcher.
“We are thrilled to have this exciting opportunity,” said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. “We have watched Ryu pitch for a long time, and he is another option to consider as we look to improve our team in 2013 and beyond. We’d like to thank the Hanwha Eagles and we look forward to meeting Ryu and beginning the negotiation process very soon.”
In order to make room in the rotation the Dodgeres would likely trade Harang and/or Capuano. Lilly is recovering from shoulder surgery and the Dodgers may wait until they know the status of his shoulder before making any moves.
Ryu spent seven years in the Korean league and was the first player to win the leagues MVP and Rookie of the Year award in the same season. Ryu had a 2.66 ERA last season for the last place Eagles.
The 6-1, 215-pound Ryu is a strikeout pitcher with a fastball in the low-90s, a changeup and a slider. He helped Korea to the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Ryu struck out 210 over 182 2/3 innings this past season and has a career 2.80 ERA.
The Dodgers bid of Ryu is third among bids submitted to Asian players via the posting system behind bids for Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
In 1994 the Dodgers welcomed the first South Korean-born player to the Major League when they signed Chan Ho Park.