As far as free agent pitchers go, there might not be a better bargain on the market than Hyun-Jin Ryu. There’s no question that the lefty’s injury history will be a huge factor in the offers he garners this winter, but based on risk vs. reward, he might be one of the better fits for front-office boss Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers.
With the conclusion of the 2019 World Series this week comes the beginning of the winter hot stove season. Before long, free agents and trade rumors will soar to the top of the MLB headlines. And, based on all the chatter so far, the Dodgers will be one of those clubs at the forefront.
Despite having one of the most prolific offenses in baseball, the postseason success of the Dodgers this year may ultimately fall on the shoulders of the starting rotation.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is on a very impressive run as of late, coming off of his 31st consecutive scoreless inning last Sunday at Cincinnati. Not only is Ryu the hottest starter in the Dodgers‘ rotation at the moment, he’s also one of the most effective starting pitchers in baseball. Ryu has been consistently putting together good outings all year, and one can only imagine his numbers at the end of the season if he’s able to stay healthy.
When fans of the Dodgers learned that Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s early exit from Monday’s opener against the Cardinals was due to a groin injury, many of them flashed back to last spring when the lefty missed more than three months of the season.
Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu decided to accept the Dodgers‘ $17.9 million qualifying offer on Monday afternoon, prospectively setting Los Angeles up with one of the most formidable starting rotations in the National League.
Long before the 2018 starting rotation picture began to sort itself out, many folks close to the Dodgers believed that Hyun-Jin Ryu was embarking upon a potentially career-best season, just in time for him to successfully test the free agent market during the coming winter months. Through the end of April of this year, the 31-year-old southpaw had posted a 3-0 record with a 2.12 ERA, a 0.867 WHIP and an outrageous 10.9 K/9, at least by his own standards. Before the emergence of Ross Stripling, and with staff ace Clayton Kershaw fighting off several different ailments, Ryu was leading the charge of the entire Los Angeles pitching staff.
Do you really think it’s Clayton Kershaw who’s going to pitch the Los Angeles Dodgers the National League pennant again this season?
First and foremost, happy 30th birthday to the best pitcher on the planet, our very own Clayton Kershaw. Even though it seems that he has been with the Dodgers for a nice long time, it doesn’t seem that he should yet be at the ripe old age of 30.