On March 3 (KST), Sports Illustrated’s “Halos Today” published an article titled “3 Free Agent Pitchers the Los Angeles Angels Should Add This Offseason,” advocating the signing of Ryu Hyun-jin.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Ryu returned to the mound “healthy” this year. His velocity was down from before the major surgery, but his command was back to his prime. He pitched four games in the minor leagues before returning to the big leagues, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA to build anticipation and showcase what he could do in the majors.
Ryu suffered a loss in his first start, but bounced back with a four-inning “no-hitter” against the Cleveland Indians in his second start, and then won three more games in a row, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 24 innings over five games in August. He proved once and for all that he can still pitch in the major leagues when healthy and after a long layoff.굿모닝토토
September was a disappointment. After a strong first month back, Ryu cruised through September with two five-inning starts and his first quality start (six innings or less) against the Texas Rangers, who won the franchise’s first World Series (WS) trophy this year. However, as the end of the regular season approached, he played a total of three games against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, both of which ended in early sweeps.
The final three games were especially disappointing because Ryu will be eligible for free agency after this season, when his four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto expires. Still, Ryu has decided to extend his career in the major leagues and will be evaluated by major league clubs in this year’s free agent market.
For now, the local consensus is that Ryu will have a hard time signing a long-term deal. Jim Bowden, a former general manager of the Washington Nationals who is now a columnist, recently ranked Ryu as the 35th best pitcher in free agency, and predicted that he will sign a one-year, $8 million contract (excluding incentives, about $10.5 billion). Toronto, the Minnesota Twins, and the Detroit Tigers were the most likely destinations.
Tim Britton, who works for The Athletic, had a different take. While Britton didn’t think Ryu would sign a short one-year deal, he predicted that Ryu would sign a contract worth $11 million (about $14.5 billion). The New York Post ranked Ryu 15th among pitchers, with one unnamed expert at $13 million, a second at $12 million, and a third at $10 million ($13.2 billion plus options).
For now, it’s clear that Ryu wants to continue his career in the major leagues. In his recent introductory press conference, Ryu expressed his desire to play in the big leagues. In the meantime, Sports Illustrated’s “Hall of Fame Today” reported that Ryu is headed to the Angels.
“As the offseason begins, the Angels have work to do to get back into contention. Shohei Ohtani may be leaving the organization, but they still hope to win a championship next year. The best way for them to do that is to build a solid starting rotation.” “Hyun-jin Ryu has spent the last four years in Toronto, and it looks like his time is coming to an end,” he continued.
“Hyun-jin Ryu is still a quality pitcher who can join the Angels starting rotation with a good veteran presence.” “This year, Hyun-jin Ryu posted a 3.46 ERA in limited time in Toronto. He wouldn’t cost much and could be a good 3-4 starter for the Angels.”
Now that the World Series is over, it’s time for teams to get more specific about their interest in free agents. It will be interesting to see what uniform Ryu ends up wearing.