The Toronto Blue Jays made an early exit from the fall stage after losing two games to the Minnesota Twins in the American League (AL) Wild Card Series (WCS).
This officially ended the 2023 season for Hyun-jin Ryu, who had been waiting for the Division Series (DS) after being left off the WCS roster. This is the third time in his Major League career that Ryu has been granted free agency. He will seek a new contract in the free agency market that opens after the World Series.
Ryu is expected to prioritize staying in the major leagues.
Ben Nicholson-Smith, a reporter for Canadian outlet Sportsnet, reported on social media that day that “Ryu has expressed a desire to sign with a major league team,” in anticipation of the arrival of Toronto’s top free agents. This is the first time Ryu has expressed his desire to remain in the major leagues through local media. However, Nicholson-Smith did not elaborate further.
The first thing to mention is the possibility of staying in Toronto.
When Ryu made his late-season return from elbow surgery, the Jays were skeptical of his chances of returning, but after he pitched above expectations, they’ve been positive. In 11 appearances, he went 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA, 14 walks, 38 strikeouts, a 1.18 WHIP, and a .249 batting average in 52 innings pitched. While he struggled in the final two games of the season, his overall performance was more of a success.
His velocity isn’t too shabby either, which is a good indicator of his recovery. His fastball peaked at 91.1 mph and averaged 88.6 mph. While his average velocity was down from 89.3 mph in the first half of 2022 before surgery, 89.8 mph in 2020, his first season in Toronto, and 90.7 mph in 2019, his peak season, his pitches, pitches mix, and command were all back to where they should be. His velocity will likely improve next season.
“We were hoping he’d come back at some point this season, and he’s been back to his old self, if not better,” Toronto manager John Schneider told Sportsnet last month, “and the fact that he’s been pitching so well is kind of a bonus for us,” he said.
However, Toronto is unlikely to re-sign Ryu. “There is a slight chance he could stay in Toronto if they incentivize him with a one-year deal,” the Toronto fan outlet Jays Journal wrote on May 25, “but he’ll want job security as he approaches retirement age, so he’ll likely demand a multi-year deal as a result.
In the four years of his $80 million contract with Toronto, Ryu has been plagued by frequent injuries, going on the IL four times and being on the roster only 52.0 percent of the time. Given his injury history and the fact that he was coming off elbow surgery, it’s unlikely Toronto would have signed him for more than two years.
There’s no reason to be disappointed with Toronto, who have proven their reliability with Ryu. There’s nothing to be sorry about. After all, it’s not like he pitched the last two months of the season with a postseason appearance in mind.
If that’s the case, he’ll have to go elsewhere. The question is whether any team would be willing to offer Ryu a two-year contract. At the very least, a “one plus one” deal with a player option or team option would leave the door open for negotiations.
Earlier this month, when Ryu was still pitching well after his return, MLB.com wrote, “Ryu is unlikely to get a four-year, $80 million deal like he did last time, but if he keeps up his steady pace, he could get a pretty good multi-year deal.
Another outlet, Bleacher Report, said, “If Ryu finishes the season strong, he could easily get a one-year, $12 million deal with incentives based on the number of starts he makes and an option for a second year. This is objectively the most likely scenario.
The New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox have all been mentioned by local media as possible suitors for Ryu. All of these teams have postseason history and need veteran starters like Ryu.카지노
It’s worth noting that the Dodgers won the division this year even with their starting rotation imploding. The only pitchers confirmed to start for the Dodgers next year are Tommy John surgery rehabber Walker Buehler and rookie fireballer Bobby Miller. Clayton Kershaw will still be mulling over retirement, staying with the Dodgers, or being traded. Dustin May and Tony Gonsoli received Tommy John surgeries in July and September, respectively, and may not return until late next year.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dodgers look at Ryu, who they know better than any other pitcher, as a free agent option. It’s not a priority, of course. The free agent starters the Dodgers will look at are in the 1-2 tier, including Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray, and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Add to that the fact that Shohei Ohtani won’t be able to pitch next year, and you have a major variable in Ryu’s future with the Dodgers.