Finally, we have confirmation on what we’ve known since yesterday: the Dodgers have officially won the bidding for Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu with a bid of $25.7m. While that may sound like a lot, do keep this in mind:
on lhp Ryu, hear there was at least 1 more bid in $20M range. so winning bid of $25,737,737 wasnt way high. some see as SP
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 10, 2012
So there’s that. The Dodgers now have 30 days to sign him and do not have to pay the Korean team until they do, though it’s exceptionally rare that a posted player doesn’t come to terms with an American team, so expect to hear news of a signing over the next few weeks. It’s very difficult to gauge what the contract might be, especially with Scott Boras serving as his agent, but keep in mind that since Ryu is not a true free agent, Boras can negotiate only with the Dodgers – there’s no shopping around for offers here.
As I said yesterday, I’m guessing he’ll get more than the 3/12 Wei-Yin Chen got from Baltimore and less than the 6/56 Yu Darvish got from Texas. That’s a wide range, I realize; figure that the total outlay here between posting & contract is about $50m. Peter Gammons, who claims Ryu has “huge upside”, wondered this morning if that’s better than $90m on Anibal Sanchez. Is it? I don’t think any of us can say right now.
While I know there’s some question over whether Ryu is best served as a reliever, I have no doubt that the Dodgers will view him as a starter, and with good reason. He’s been durable and effective over his time in Korea, and while you can always try him as a starter and move him to the bullpen if it doesn’t work out, it’s very difficult to do the reverse. So that now gives the Dodgers seven starters under contract, and I don’t think that’ll be the end of it. Ryu can’t be expected to be the immediate difference-maker the Dodgers need, so I wouldn’t expect this to put them out of the chase for Zack Greinke or (especially) James Shields, though I do hope it makes them less interested in Hiroki Kuroda. It also means that, more than ever, at least one of Josh Beckett / Chris Capuano / Aaron Harang / Ted Lilly best not get too comfortable in Los Angeles.
Still, none of that matters until Ryu officially signs a deal. For the moment, I’m cautiously optimistic; most of what I’ve heard about Ryu is positive, but it’s difficult to say that any of us really have enough information about him to judge. All we can do is hope that Logan White & friends, who clearly put a lot of effort into this, are correct in their judgement.
Alright, this is petty, but I can’t help myself. Up until about 30 minutes before the Ryu news was officially announced, SI.com still had a story up claiming that he was going to the Cubs. It wasn’t just “a source suggests,” it was “Cubs win rights”. (Here’s the link, though it’s just now been removed.) The best part about it was, they were writing the story based on a link from Jon Heyman of CBS… who had specifically tweeted that the Cubs had not won Ryu last night. So based on a suggestion from follower FormosaFountain… yeah, I had to do it: