Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dodgers Go Street Fighter - Look to Sign Ryu

This is just too delicious.

The Dodgers just might hook up with one of the worlds greatest video game characters.  And with it being the 25th anniversary of the Street Fighter franchise, it couldn't be a better time.

News has come down the pike indicating that the Dodgers are the winning bidder for Korean ace left handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.  Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com.
The Dodgers' bid, reportedly for about $25.7 million, was accepted by Ryu's team, the Hanwha Eagles. The Dodgers have an exclusive 30-day window to negotiate a contract with the pitcher and his agent, Scott Boras. If no deal is reached, Ryu would return to the Eagles and could not participate in another posting process until next year.
The actual bid was $25,737,737.33.  The numbers 7 and 3 are lucky numbers in Korea.

On top of that amount, the Dodger will still have to negotiate a contract for his services, so we still have a long way to go before he is officially on the team.  Making it more complicated, it has been reported widely that his agent is Scott Boras, and he is already talking tough.  Via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times.
“He’s ready to pitch in the big leagues right now,” Scott Boras said. “He’s not a developmental project.”
Translated: "Show me the money!"
Ryu intends to be a starting pitcher, according to Boras. How the Dodgers want to use Ryu will be one of the factors he will consider when deciding whether to sign with the Dodgers or return to the Hanwha Eagles.

“We have to strategically plan out his career,” Boras said.

Among the considerations: compensation and when Ryu can become a free agent.

Because Ryu is only 25, he could sign a shorter contract that would allow him to enter the free-agent market while still in the prime of his career. Or he could remain in Korea for two more seasons, after which he would be a free agent and wouldn’t be subjected to the posting system.

“Is it a good business decision to make the jump now or wait for free agency?” Boras asked.
Translation: "My guy doesn't have to sign now, so you better not low ball me."

I have no idea if this kid is any good, but he is reported to have an excellent change up to go along with a fastball that tops out in the low to mid 90's.  Of concern is his size.  Hyun-Jin Ryu is a big kid.  He's 6 foot 1, and has a big frame (a reported 215 lbs.).  Think David Wells or CC Sabathia in term of potential size.  Of course, those are great comparisons, so we can only hope.

Is he the answer to our search for a top line starting pitcher?  What about Kuroda?  Does this put a stop to our pursuit of him?

I dunno.  All I know is that we look to be stockpiling starting pitchers, and that is never a bad thing.  Furthermore, with a pitching poor free agent market and an even smaller trade market for pitchers this winter, I suspect we'll be making some deals to round down our starting staff.

I'd bet that we sign Ryu and Kuroda while looking to trade either Harang or Capuano.  Ryu goes to the bullpen for now, but will eventually crack the starting staff by mid-year.  We've got Kershaw, Billingsley and Lilly as starters coming back from injuries, so let's figure one of them wears down.  Beckett and Kuroda round it out with either Harang or Capuano waiting in the wings.

Anyway, for your viewing are some videos of our (maybe) new Dodger.  The below video is from the World Baseball Classic from 3 years ago.

Video Link:

This is from his last start this season.  From the video description:
In his last start of the season, Ryu Hyun-jin struck out 12 against Nexen. He went 10 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 earned run. He got the no-decision as Hanwha/Nexen could not break the 1-1 tie after 12 innings.

Video Link:

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