Los Angeles Dodgers win Ryu Hyun-jin bidding
Major League Baseball announced early yesterday, Korea Standard Time, that the Dodgers submitted a bid of about $25.7 million for the service of the 25-year-old pitcher. Ryu’s Korean club, the Hanwha Eagles, accepted the bid on Saturday, when only the amount of the bid, not the club that submitted it, had been known.
The Dodgers had been said to be among the interested suitors for Ryu, along with the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers.
Under the agreement between MLB and the Korea Baseball Organization, bids were submitted in a silent auction as part of the “posting” process for Ryu. After the Eagles agreed to post Ryu and informed MLB of his availability, big league clubs had a four-day window to submit their bids.
Following the Eagles’ acceptance of the Dodgers’ offer, the Los Angeles club now has the exclusive rights to negotiate a contract with Ryu over 30 days. The pitcher is represented by uber-agent Scott Boras.
If the contract is signed, the Eagles will take the bid money as a transfer fee of sorts. If the Dodgers and Ryu can’t come to an agreement, Ryu would stay with the Eagles and will not be eligible for posting until November next year.
The Dodgers’ bid was the highest-ever for a Korean player attempting to reach the majors, and the fourth highest for an Asian player behind three Japanese pitchers: Yu Darvish, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa.
“We are thrilled to have this exciting opportunity,” Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti was quoted as saying on MLB.com. “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.”
Ryu, 25, joined the KBO in 2006 as a second overall draft pick out of high school and became the first player to win both the MVP and the Rookie of the Year honors in the same KBO season. He went 18-6 with a 2.23 earned run average (ERA) in his first year, with a KBO rookie record 204 strikeouts.
He has since been one of the KBO’s most dominant starters. He averaged almost 15 wins a season from 2006 to 2010 but was limited to nine wins this year on the league’s worst team, despite posting a 2.66 ERA.
The thick-bodied pitcher, listed at 187 centimeters (6 feet, 2 inches) and 98 kilograms (216 pounds).
He can reach up to 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour) with his fastball, and can also throw a changeup and slider as his out pitches.