Dodgers’ first offer to Ryu Hyun-Jin falls “a tad short”

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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.

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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.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.