The big spending for the Dodgers continues, as it was officially announced just moments ago that the organization has won the bidding rights for South Korean southpaw Hyun-jin Ryu. The club and player will now have 30 days to work out a contract that suits both parties. The Chicago Tribune reports that Ryu is believed to be seeking a two-year deal, so while the contract itself shouldn’t be too pricey, the Dodgers have already invested nearly $26 million at this point just to win the bidding rights. Even in the event that the contract itself pays as little as $2 million to Ryu in both seasons, the combined $30 million ensures Ryu will cost Los Angeles at least $15 million for two seasons.
For that kind of cash, the Dodgers will need Ryu to work out as a starter in the majors, something scouts have been undecided on at this point. He has seen some success pitching in Korea, leading the league in strikeouts five times and posting a cumulative 98-52 record with a 2.80 ERA in seven seasons, but the transition to the major leagues is rarely an easy one for imports.
Ryu, listed at six feet, two inches and 215 pounds, is reported to have a four-pitch assortment featuring a fastball that regularly appears in the low-90s, occasionally registering as high as 95 on the radar gun. He has drawn some comparisons to David Wells according to Baseball America, but player analogies are tenuous work at best, and until the Dodgers are able to put him in a game situation, his probability of success is a mystery.