Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has been ranked eighth among the free agents picked by MLB.com. The 32-year-old ranks fourth among the starting pitchers on the roster.
MLB.com announced the rankings of free agents for the 2020 season on Saturday. Originally, Ryu was ranked ninth, but as Aroldis Chapman, a finishing pitcher who was ranked fourth, chose to stay with the New York Yankees on Sunday, Ryu has seen his ranking increase a notch. Ryu has been ranked fourth among the starting pitchers after Gerrit Cole (ranked first) of the Huston Astros, Stephen Strasburg (third) of the Washington Nationals, and Madison Bumgarner (fifth) of the San Francisco Giants. He is ranked higher than Dallas Keuchel (13th) of the Atlanta Braves, the winner of the 2015 Cy Young Award in the American League.
The Dodgers had the windfall of signing a one-year 17.9-million-dollar contract with Ryu Hyun-jin last year, MLB.com said. Ryu achieved his “career high” this year, with his ERA ranked first (2.32) in the Major League. He had been the frontrunner candidate for the Cy Young Award through the first half, but only recorded an ERA of 7.48 and one win and three losses in four games in August, which changed the assessment of him. His challenge to win the Cy Young Award lost ground due to his lackluster performance in the second half. His durability could affect his contract, MLB.com said.
While the Dodgers are not showing strong enthusiasm to resign contract with Ryu, a number of teams are considering recruiting him. The Star Tribune, a local media outlet in Minnesota, Saturday singled out Ryu as a starting pitcher Minnesota will highly likely seek to recruit. “(Ryu Hyun-jin) is a skilled left-handed pitcher, and is experienced in dealing with batters,” the Star Tribune said. The Chicago Tribune also mentioned Ryu as candidate for the Chicago White Sox. The daily said that Ryu’s age, which will turn 33 next year, is an obstacle, but given his agent Scott Boras who is highly talented in negotiation, a long-term contract can be expected.