L.A. Dodgers Sign South Korean Pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin To Seven-Year, $36M Deal
Left-handed pitcher RYU HYUN-JIN signed a six-year deal with the L.A. Dodgers, becoming the first Korean baseball player "to move directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to MLB," according to Moon Gwang-lip of the KOREA JOONGANG DAILY. The "deal for the seven-year veteran of the Hanhwa Eagles is worth $36M including a $5M signing bonus, making him the third-highest paid foreign pitcher in MLB acquired through the posting system, behind YU DARVISH and DAISUKE MATSUZAKA." The signing "was finalized with less than one minute before the deadline" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 12/11). In Seoul, Kang Seung-woo wrote under his contract, if Ryu "pitches 750 or more innings over the first five years of the contract, he can opt out of the sixth year." He can also "make up to $1M a year in performance bonuses relating to innings pitched." During negotiations, Ryu’s agent SCOTT BORAS "projected his client as a No. 3 starter, but the pitcher is likely to fill the fourth spot on the rotation behind two Cy Young Award winners CLAYTON KERSHAW and ZACK GREINKE and JOSH BECKETT" (KOREA TIMES, 12/10). YONHAP reported "with this signing, the Eagles will take the $25.7M bid as a transfer fee for Ryu." Had Ryu "failed to sign a deal by the deadline, he would have been forced to return to the Eagles for '13 and would not have been eligible for posting until November next year." The contract talks between the Dodgers and Ryu "appeared to have hit a snag last week." The Dodgers had said that "Ryu once rejected their offer of a long-term contract." Boras "pressured the Dodgers that Ryu could play in Japan in '13 and test free agency later without going through posting" (YONHAP, 12/10).