The Blue Jays made a significant addition to their starting rotation on Sunday night, signing veteran lefty free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year, $80 million contract, Jon Heyman reports. Per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the contract includes a full no-trade clause.
Ryu, 32, led all qualified starters in baseball last season with a 2.32 ERA, finishing second in NL Cy Young Award balloting. He also went 14-5 with 163 strikeouts and 24 walks over 182 2/3 innings of work. Though he has had trouble staying healthy over the course of his seven-year major league career, Ryu holds a 2.98 career ERA spanning 740 1/3 innings.
Ryu is the most significant addition the Blue Jays have made this offseason. He is one of three newcomers to the rotation, joining Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark. While the Jays had a disappointing 67-95 record this past season, they are putting in some effort to return to relevancy in the AL East.
Nightengale notes that Scott Boras, Ryu’s agent, has crossed $1 billion in total value of contracts signed by his clients this offseason. Boras’ other clients include Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million), Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million), Anthony Rendon (seven years, $245 million), Mike Moustakas (four years, $64 million), and Dallas Keuchel (three years, $55.5 million).
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.