Ryu Hyun-Jin

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

26 Comments

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.

Edwin Encarnacion: “I think [the Blue Jays] got too hasty in making their decision.”

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Leave a comment

1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.

Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’

Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ

Sammy Sosa
10 Comments

I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.

The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.

Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.

Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:

It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.

I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .