Ryu Hyun-Jin

Dodgers bid $25.7 million to negotiate with Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin

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UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, MLB has confirmed that the Dodgers had the winning bid of $25,737,737 and have secured exclusive negotiating rights for Ryu Hyun-Jin. They now have 30 days to work out a contract with Hyun-Jin’s agent, Scott Boras.

Given how much of an investment the Dodgers are likely to make here, it will be interesting to see whether this will take them out of the running for free agent starters like Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez or Hiroki Kuroda. Of course, they are spending money like it’s going out of style, so who knows.

9:29 PM, Friday: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers did not win the bidding. Meanwhile, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun hears that the Orioles did not submit a bid.

8:59 PM: Still awaiting confirmation, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that other teams suspect the Dodgers won the bidding. On a related note, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com were told that the Dodgers submitted an “aggressive bid.”

8:00 PM: Contrary to chatter and speculation on Twitter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Cubs did not have the winning bid.

7:54 PM: Bidding for Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin came to a close yesterday at 5 p.m. ET. While it’s not clear who won exclusive negotiating rights, we do know the winning bid.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the top bid checked in at $25,737,737 and was accepted by Hyun-Jin’s team, the Hanwha Eagles.

Still waiting for confirmation on which team won, but the Cubs and Rangers both reportedly made bids. The team that submitted the winning bid will now have 30 days to work out a contract with Hyun-Jin. The 25-year-old southpaw is represented by Scott Boras, so negotiations won’t be easy. At this price, it’s clear the winning team views him as a starting pitcher. The Hanwha Eagles will not receive the posting fee unless a contract is eventually worked out.

Hyun-Jin checks in at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds and has a 2.80 ERA over seven seasons in KBO. He’s not overpowering, generally sitting in the low-90s with his fastball, but he’s said to possess an excellent changeup.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.