After placing the winning bid of $25.7 million bid, the Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly landed the righ to negotiate with South Korean starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin.
Several teams were in the running for the 6-foot-2, 215 pound left hander but the Dodgers’ new owners, the Guggenheim Group, have shown a willingness to spend since taking over this season. The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers were the other teams believed to be in the running.
The bid will compensate his former team, the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization, and Los Angeles has 30 days to iron out a contract with Ryu.
Last year, the 25-year-old was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 182 2/3 innings.
He pitched for the South Korea in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and became the only player to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in his debut professional season in 2006.
Over his seven year career, Ryu is 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA.
This could be a huge signing for the Dodgers on a cultural level. Los Angeles’ large Korean population should embrace Ryu like they did Chan Ho Park from 1994-2001.
Scouts were undecided on whether Ryu would start or come out of the bullpen in the MLB, according to CBS Sports, and it remains to be seen how the Dodgers plan to use their latest acquisition.