The Dodgers are doing some high end holiday shopping this offseason. After spending $183 million between Zack Greinke‘s new 6-year contract and Ryu Hyun-Jin’s 6-year deal (not counting the $25.7 million posting fee which goes to the Hanwha Eagles), the Dodgers now may have one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball.
The Dodgers came to an agreement with Scott Boras, Ryu’s agent, just in the nick of time before the afternoon deadline on Sunday. Tomorrow the Dodgers will hold a press conference at Dodger Stadium at 2 p.m. PT to introduce Hyun-Jin Ryu (pronounced He-YUN Jin Ree-YOO) who will wear number 99 for the Dodgers.
Ned Colletti had this to say about the historic signing:
“We are excited to welcome Hyun-Jin Ryu to Los Angeles and the United States, continuing the tradition of Korean pitchers with the Dodger organization. The Dodgers continue to show the commitment to signing players from Asia and other international areas where baseball is played at the highest levels. We are looking forward to watching Ryu pitch for the franchise.”
Ryu will be a great addition to the Dodger family and the Korean community of Los Angeles. Once Ryu pitches for the first time as a Dodger, he will become the 14th South Korean native to play at the Major League level and the fourth to play for the Dodgers. The other three were: Hee-Seop Choi (2004-2005), Jae Seo (2006), and of course Chan Ho Park (1994-2001, 2008). Park was the first Korean to play in the MLB when he debuted with the Dodgers in 1994.
Right now the projected rotation looks like this: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Ryu Hyun-Jin, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers also still have Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, and Ted Lilly under contract as well, and they most likely will look to move two of them. Ted Lilly, who is coming off of shoulder surgery, will be the most difficult to trade. He may be useful out of the bullpen, or if Chad Billingsley isn’t 100% healthy one of the aforementioned could be slotted in his place.
Another blockbuster trade went down Sunday evening, and we learned that the Kansas City Royals have acquired James Shields, Wade Davis, and a player to be named later or cash from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard. The Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in James Shields for awhile, but they did not have the prospects needed to build a trade around. The Royals traded away many of their top prospects, and I’m glad that the Dodgers did not make a similar move in order to pick up starting pitching. They took on considerable financial obligation, but they did not deplete the farm system any further.
Who’s excited for 2013? I am, but can we now do something about Uribe? The Dodgers could have aces and all-stars throughout their entire roster, but Juan Uribe will somehow remain.