It appears that Ryu Hyun-Jin may remain in Korea.
The Dodgers put forward a $25.7 million posting fee early last month for the right to negotiate exclusively with the 25-year-old left-hander, then made a long-term offer to his representatives this week from the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
But it “fell a tad short,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday night. And it’s not a certainty that Colletti and Co. will make a second proposal.
Ryu owns a 98-52 record, 2.80 ERA and 1238/383 K/BB ratio over seven seasons in the KBO (Korea’s top professional baseball league). If a deal can’t be worked out, the Dodgers will have that posting fee returned.
And the young southpaw can try again next winter to make the transition to the major leagues.
UPDATE, 8:44 PM: Ryu’s agent, Scott Boras, told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he made a counter-offer. “We exchanged offers and negotiations continue,” said the super agent.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.