Scott Boras hosted a press conference for 40 members of the media Thursday at his Newport Beach, CA office in order to introduce Korean southpaw Ryu Hyun-Jin. The experienced sports agent said that he has a scheduled meeting with Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti next week in which they will sit down and start negotiations.
Boras feels that Ryu can join a Major League level team immediately, and he had this to say about the young hurler:
“He can jump in and be a third starter on a championship-caliber Major League team,” said Boras. “He comes with a great pedigree. This is a rare opportunity.”
received $52 million and $56 million six-year deals from Boston and Texas. He also claimed that Ryu’s bid from the Dodgers for $25,737,737.33 was less than the two aforementioned Japanese pitchers’ posting bids, because Korean pitchers obtain less visibility than Japanese pitchers. Of course Boras is trying to garner a deal in line with the contracts given to Darvish and Matsuzaka, because that’s his job. He will try to squeeze as much money out of the Dodgers as he possibly can. And the Dodgers now have more money than ever to work with, so I’m sure Boras is clamping at the bit to get his client some of that GBM cash.
The Dodgers have until December 10th to strike a deal with Ryu, otherwise he must return to the Hanwha Eagles. Even though there will be a negotiating process, I’m pretty confident that the Dodgers will sign Ryu to a generous contract. The team has made a flurry of recent hires in order to shape a new international scouting and player development team, and signing Ryu would progress their forward momentum into the international market in which they have been absent from during Frank McCourt’s reign.
There’s also no secret that the Dodgers need starting pitching. Chad Billingsley‘s elbow is iffy, Ted Lilly is recovering from shoulder surgery and extremely rusty, and Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are mediocre at best. The Dodgers are still wading through the free agent market, but signing Ryu would be a great investment in the future instead of picking up a pitcher for a short term one or two-year deal. Chances are the Dodgers may even sign Ryu and sign another starter via free agency. Whether Ryu is able to immediately transition from pitching in Korea and be injected straight into the Dodgers’ starting rotation is unknown. He may have to begin in the minors or perhaps the bullpen before he is thrown into a Major League starting role.
Through an interpreter, Ryu talked about Chan Ho Park‘s influence on him and the Korean community of Los Angeles:
“Chan Ho was very influential to me and very helpful, and [giving] me insight into playing in the Major Leagues and giving me the dream to play in the Major Leagues,” he said. “As a baseball alumni, he’s teaching me the ropes.”
Although the new ownership’s prime goal is to win, there’s also the additional objective to sign players which reflect the Angelino community and those in which the fans can relate to and root for.
Ryu in Blue? You can bet on it
Take our Ryu poll, and let us know if you think he will sign with the Dodgers and for how much.