On Sunday, the South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin agreed to a six-year deal worth $36 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal had to be made by 2 p.m. PST by the team and Ryu or else the team would have been refunded $25.7 million for the fee the Dodgers had paid for exclusive rights to negotiate with the left-hander. Also, without the agreement being met Ryu would have returned home.
With the agreement being reached, Ryu sets a record for being the first player to ever go to the U.S. big leagues directly from the Korea Baseball Organization. His rotation will include 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. The Team is also in hopes of signing free-agent Zack Greinke. Of course, the Dodgers paid the third-highest posting fee by a big league team just to have the opportunity to negotiate a contract with the South Korean pitcher.
Last month, according to Scott Boras, Ryu’s agent, he was very confident that a deal would be reached with the Dodgers.
“He has the ability to command the fastball from 90-95 mph and his changeup is a very elite weapon for him,” Boras said. “And he has a quality slider and curveball.”
Ryu Hyun-jin, 25, has an impressive career as a baseball player. After seven seasons with the Hanwha Eagles, along with being an All-Star each year, MVP at age 19 and rookie of the year, he is sure to be an asset to the Los Angeles Dodgers.