Toronto Blue Jays: Ryu is a big risk and reward at same time

Ryu could be the rotation southpaw the Phillies have lacked. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images.
Ryu could be the rotation southpaw the Phillies have lacked. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images. /

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Hyun-Jin Ryu to a 4-year, $80 million deal but it is a big risk that could come with big rewards as well.

Hyun-Jin Ryu placed second in the National League Cy Young award race, so you could say he hit free agency at the right time after taking the Qualifying Offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now he got $80 million from the Toronto Blue Jays.

There are many risks and rewards for the Blue Jays when it comes to bringing in Ryu but let’s start with the rewards.

The Rewards

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Ryu is a very solid starter and he was able to show that in 2019 with the Dodgers. He made the All-Star Game and led the National League in ERA.

It is very pleasant to hear the Blue Jays trying to win, especially when it would have been easy to lay down and do nothing after the New York Yankees went out and threw $324 million at Gerrit Cole.

But Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro want to kickstart their window of contention and I think Hyun-Jin Ryu has the potential to be the right guy to lead a rotation that has vastly improved from last year by adding Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, and now Ryu.

But with some rewards there are obvious risks:

The Risks

Hyun-Jin Ryu is 32 years old and will be 36 at the end of his contract so it is valid to ask the question of if Ryu will continue to be the starter he was with the Dodgers.

They spent $80 million on this 32-year-old who has only reached the 160 inning total once in the last five seasons.

Another question that could be asked is if the Blue Jays should’ve paid Ryu that much money when they are in such a competitive division like the AL East.

The division is out of the question for the foreseeable future in my opinion because the Rays and Yankees are just too much better on paper than Toronto, and then there are so many teams competing for the Wild Card—two of them are in the Blue Jays division.

Teams that are serious Wild Card contenders include:

– Boston Red Sox

– Tampa Bay Rays

– Chicago White Sox

– Cleveland Indians

– Oakland Athletics

-Texas Rangers

– Los Angeles Angels

– And the Blue Jays

I just listed 8 teams not including Toronto that could make a strong push for the Wild Card and in my opinion each roster I listed is currently better than Toronto.

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It might seem like I am hating on the Toronto Blue Jays but this team is very young and I think the Ryu signing is just bad timing in terms of their readiness to compete.