When Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers out of South Korea, he emerged as a quality third starter in a rotation led by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Ryu finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and had a similarly productive season the following year.
But his career was then thrown off course as labrum surgery cost the left-hander all of 2015. The recovery and elbow trouble and subsequent surgery then limited Ryu to just one start in 2016.
After a season in which he labored through some uneven performances, Ryu recaptured his form last year. He accepted the qualifying offer from the Dodgers and put together arguably the best season of his career.
Now a free agent without a qualifying offer attached to him, Ryu is seeking a three- or four-year contract and has yet to fully engage with the Dodgers in negotiations, per Joseph Kim:
— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) November 14, 2019
Ryu was among four Dodgers who officially reached free agency the morning after the World Series concluded. That included David Freese, who had previously announced his retirement. Jedd Gyorko was later added to the group after the Dodgers declined their $13 million club option.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has regularly spoken highly of Ryu, which suggests some level of interest in re-signing the 32-year-old. Friedman has previously noted the benefit of familiarity that comes with re-signing a player over branching out into free agency.
L.A. nonetheless is among the teams that most anticipate pursuing Gerrit Cole, who like Ryu was a Cy Young Award finalist.
Ryu’s market has yet to truly take shape, but in addition to the Dodgers, the Texas Rangers appear to have some level of interest.
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