“Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (37), who is on the free agent market in the U.S. Major League Baseball, is unable to find a new nest. With the spring camp in which each club is preparing for the new season imminent, the issue of Ryu Hyun-jin’s future is drawing attention again as the news of the renewal of Clayton Kershaw, who once served as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is reported.
After signing a four-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays at the end of last season, Ryu earned his FA status. Although he underwent surgery for elbow injury in 2022, he returned to the mound last year and played 52 innings, posting good performance with 3 wins and 3 losses with an ERA of 3.46. Confirming his potential to make a comeback, Ryu is aiming to play in the big league for one to two more years than returning to Korea.마카오토토
Ryu’s average speed dropped to around 88 miles per hour (141.6 kilometers) since his return to the U.S. last year. His speed was the lowest since he entered the U.S. Nevertheless, he is highly valued as a left-hander who can utilize his skills as a left-handed starter, and veteran pitcher who can cope with crises with various pitches. Recently, MLB.COM introduced Ryu’s performance last year, saying that Ryu’s heyday is definitely over, but there is still hope that he will be a strong starting pitcher.
He is mentioned as one of the pitchers that the Texas Rangers, the winner of last year’s World Series, can recruit. Texas, which had many of its main pitchers left due to injuries, has been looking for starting resources to take the mound in the new season. With Kershaw staying with the Dodgers, Ryu Hyun-jin seems to have rapidly emerged as another option.
“If Texas is to strengthen its starting rotation full of injuries, it should look at pitchers remaining in the FA or trade market,” the U.S. Sports Kidda said on the 8th (Korea time). “A short-term contract could be a way to recruit Ryu Hyun-jin. Texas can balance the mound, which lacks left-handed pitchers.” Along with Ryu Hyun-jin, Jordan Montgomery (FA) and Dylan Cease (Chicago White Sox) were mentioned as candidates for Texas’ recruitment.
Currently, Ryu is taking care of himself by participating in off-season training programs without joining his team. However, as spring camps will be set up for each team from around the middle of this month, Ryu needs to sign a contract and join a new team as soon as possible in order to prepare for the upcoming season smoothly.
There is still a possibility that he could make a U-turn in Korea. Having entered the U.S. through a posting system (closed competitive bidding) in 2013, Ryu has to return to his former team Hanwha Eagles. Hanwha has left its salary cap vacant in consideration of this situation.