For all of the bluster, there was never really any doubt this would get done: the Dodgers signed Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu just before the Sunday afternoon deadline.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that it’s a six-year, $36 million contract that includes an opt out after five years if Ryu tops a certain number of innings.
The Dodgers bid $25.7 million for Ryu’s rights last month after he was posted by his team in Korea. He went 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 182 2/3 innings for Hanwha last season.
The 25-year-old Ryu can’t necessarily be penciled into a rotation that’s set to include Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett, with Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly coming back from injuries. The team also has Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang available as starters, but with a payroll set to come in around $250 million, those guys are expendable.
Ryu could open the year in the pen and then move into the rotation later, or it’s possible he’ll be needed right away if either Billingsley or Lilly requires additional rehab time. Given that Ryu hasn’t thrown 200 innings in a season since 2007, it might be for the best if he spends the first month or so working in relief.
Here’s some Korean footage of Ryu striking out 13 batters in a game: