The Toronto Blue Jays have signed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu to a reported four-year, $80-million deal, further solidifying their starting rotation.
The Toronto Blue Jays made their biggest splash of the 2019 off-season to date and addressed their biggest need in the process.
The team and left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu have come to terms on a four-year, $80-million deal, sources close to the situation told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Ryu’s new deal would be the third-largest handed out in Blue Jays franchise history, coming up behind only Russell Martin ($82M) and Vernon Wells ($126M), according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs. It’s also the largest contract ever for a pitcher signed by the Jays and the biggest sum handed out by general manager Ross Atkins during his time at the helm.
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This will be the first time that the 32-year-old has played for an MLB team other than the Los Angeles Dodgers. They purchased the lefty from the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League in the winter of 2012.
After coming over from his native country, Ryu started 30 games for the Dodgers during the 2013 campaign, compiling a 14-8 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Following another 14-win season in 2014, Ryu ran into injury woes during both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He played in just a single game over those two years, getting shelled in his lone start.
Over his six-year major-league career, Ryu has fashioned a 2.98 ERA and a 3.32 FIP in 126 appearances. However, the 2019 season was by far his best to date.
He made 29 starts on the year, finishing with a 14-5 record, 2.32 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across 182 2/3 innings. He led the league in ERA and also had a complete-game shutout against the Atlanta Braves — it was the second time in his career that he accomplished the feat.
Ryu was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and finished second in NL Cy Young voting, finishing just behind Jacob deGrom.
The Dodgers were vying to have the southpaw return to the team for 2020 and beyond, but the term and salary were likely more than Los Angeles was willing to pay for his services.
Ryu’s deal is
The veteran has a six-pitch repertoire, where he focuses primarily on his four-seam fastball and changeup, according to Brooks Baseball. The fastball tops out at 92 mph while his changeup has hit up to 80 mph. He also has a cutter, sinker, curveball and slider that he can mix in to fool batters.
Ryu will now assume the role of the Jays’ ace going forward. He joins a rotation that already features Matt Shoemaker, Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Ryan Borucki and Trent Thornton. Top prospects Nate Pearson and Anthony Kay will also likely figure into the fold at some point during the 2020 season.
The veteran southpaw may not be the final addition for the Jays, who are reportedly still looking to land arms in the market.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have had talks with the Boston Red Sox about a potential trade involving former Jay David Price.
We’ll have to wait and see what’s ahead for the team, but this certainly moves the needle when it comes to the rebuild.