Although the starting pitching market is headlined by Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the free agency class includes talented options in Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Wheeler as well.
Even if they’re considered a tier below Cole and Strasburg, Ryu and Wheeler have drawn plenty of interest thus far. Wheeler reportedly has one offer of at least $100 million, and Ryu — a National League Cy Young Award finalist this past season — should ink a multi-year deal as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are said to have interest in re-signing Ryu, but they have also been connected to Cole and Strasburg. Ryu’s market reportedly includes the Minnesota Twins and there’s thought to be a possibility where the L.A. Angels also enter the picture.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Toronto Blue Jays have interest in potentially signing Ryu:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 4, 2019
Toronto is in need of starting pitching — particularly at the front of their rotation — and they previously were been connected to Wheeler. Of course, the Blue Jays traded Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets at the deadline this year.
After missing all of 2015 because of surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, Ryu made just one start the following year. That season also ended prematurely as he underwent an elbow operation.
While the two procedures cast some doubt on the outlook of his career, Ryu pitched through some rust in 2017 before producing back-to-back impressive seasons. This year he finished 14-5 with an MLB-best 2.32 ERA.
The 32-year-old is said to be seeking a three- or four-year contract, which may suggest a reunion with the Dodgers is likely. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has spoken highly of the southpaw and his track record suggests there aren’t high odds of committing to a pitcher on a long-term contract.
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