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Hyun-Jin Ryu Rumors
The Dodgers would consider acquiring a pitcher in his absence of starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu, but likely only a depth move, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. On Sunday, the team sent Ryu to Los Angeles to see a doctor after he reported discomfort in the shoulder that ailed him at times last season. He will begin the season on the disabled list. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the team could potentially have interest in “more depth starting pitching, but that is no different than we have tried to get all offseason.”
They don’t sound optimistic in finding even that type of pitcher, ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon writes. “This is just a hard time to go out there and acquire starting pitching depth,” says GM Farhan Zaidi. “We’re fielding calls from teams that are asking us about our starting pitching depth, so there aren’t a lot of starting pitching sellers right now.”
The Dodgers have announced that they’ve shut down Hyun-jin Ryu with shoulder inflammation. He will be shut down for the next three days while the Dodgers determine the right course of action. Ryu had experienced shoulder tightness in his last start, during which his velocity was down. Ryu had similar shoulder issues last September, although he returned to pitch in the playoffs. There’s no indication yet that his current issues are serious, and Ryu (via a tweet from J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group) believes the injury should not keep him from being ready for the start of the season. The Dodgers could consider having him begin the season on the disabled list, however, as the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin tweets. The Dodgers don’t require a fifth starter until April 14. Here’s more from the West divisions.
- Yasmany Tomas chose the Diamondbacks over other teams in part because he liked their front office, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. The Giants were the runners-up in the bidding for Tomas, writes Piecoro. “At the end of the day, he said, ‘I really like those people,'” says agent Jay Alou of Diamondbacks execs Tony La Russa, Dave Stewart, De Jon Watson and Junior Noboa. “These are baseball people. They get it. I think Yasmany appreciates that.” After committing $68.5MM for Tomas, the Diamondbacks now appear to be quietly considering having Tomas start the season in the minors, although they offer guarded praise for his abilities. “I really believe that a number of us in the organization believe that he could hit,” says La Russa. “If we were short and he had to play, at the end of the year he would survive.”
- The Athletics‘ seemingly incongruous addition of Billy Butler in the offseason actually makes sense, Tony Blengino of FanGraphs writes. While Butler’s 2014 season wasn’t a good one, his underlying numbers suggest a player whose ability is closer to his .289/.374/.412 2013 season. Blengino suggests Butler has a decent chance of being as good as or better than Nelson Cruz next year, although the two players’ offensive profiles are quite different.
- The Rangers‘ prospects give the team a bright future, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The team still has Jorge Alfaro, Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, Keone Kela and to power-hitting prospect Joey Gallo in big-league camp. “I think they are still getting something out of being here,” says GM Jon Daniels. “Some of these guys are not very far away at all.” Relief prospect Kela has wowed scouts with his stuff, Grant says — Kela can throw 100 MPH and now also has a quality breaking ball.
The Dodgers acquisition of Brandon Beachy could lead to a trade, writes Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Beachy will open the season on the disabled list, so his presence could be purely for depth purposes. However, if everybody is healthy when he’s ready to contribute, the team could consider dealing Zack Greinke or Hyun-jin Ryu. Greinke may opt out after the season which could make him expendable. A trade of Ryu seems unlikely since he can void his contract if dealt (via Twitter). Here’s more from out west.
- The Dodgers and catcher Ali Solis have split ways over a contractual issue, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Details are unknown at this time. Solis was a non-roster invite to the big league camp. He’s appeared briefly with the Padres and Rays, accruing 11 plate appearances in the process. He’s a career .243/.291/.363 hitter over his nine season minor league career.
- Padres pitchers Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow are familiar with rapid rebuilds, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Both players were with the Blue Jays in 2013 when they were picked to win the division. The team fizzled and finished last in the AL East. Johnson also experienced the 2012 rebuild of the Marlins. Both players point to chemistry and cohesiveness as an important missing element. Only time will tell if the Padres can bond together.
- Every team has a player in the best shape of his life. One such to watch may be Mariners slugger Jesus Montero, writes Tim Brown of Yahoo. The once-prospect dropped 45 pounds from the hefty 275 he weighed last spring. Per manager Lloyd McClendon, “I think he’s in a much better place as a human being…The baseball skills, we’ll see.”
The Red Sox are “expected” to promote Rusney Castillo on Tuesday, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweets. This wouldn’t be shocking news, given that Ben Cherington has already said that Castillo is on track to be promoted this month and Triple-A Pawtucket’s season is about to come to an end, with the final game of the International League championship series taking place tonight. Castillo has played three games so far for Pawtucket. Here are more notes from around baseball.
- Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to have his sore shoulder examined today, and Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times wonders what might happen if the results are unfavorable. Ryu missed several weeks with a shoulder inflammation earlier this season. Losing Ryu for the rest of the season would leave a Dodgers rotation (which has already lost Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley and Paul Maholm) thin, and they’re in a tight race with the Giants for the NL West pennant. Of course, the cross-town Angels faced a similarly tough-looking situation when they lost Garrett Richards for the season, and they’ve been fine since then.
- If this is the last year for Athletics slugger Adam Dunn, it will be the end of an extremely unusual career, ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes, noting that more than half of Dunn’s career plate appearances have ended without him putting the ball in play. Players with similarly high strikeout, walk and homer totals usually have shorter careers, but Dunn has managed over 8,000 plate appearances (over 2,300 of which ended in strikeouts).
- Despite Chris Davis‘ suspension, the Orioles aren’t inclined to promote first base prospect Christian Walker, CSNBaltimore.com’s Rich Dubroff writes. Walker has hit .288/.357/.489 in 599 plate appearances split between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this year, but he isn’t on the Orioles’ 40-man roster. “[S]ome guys don’t have to be protected this off-season, so unless I’m going to play them every day or mostly every day, or if I know they’re going to be on our team next year, then you’re really doing something that’s not very smart,” says Buck Showalter.
Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett threw the season’s first no-hitter on Sunday, an act that must have seemed hard to follow. But fellow Dodgers hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu did his best on Monday, pitching seven perfect innings before allowing a double to the Reds’ Todd Frazier to lead off the eighth inning. Including a hitless inning by Paul Maholm against the Phillies in the eighth inning Saturday, the Dodgers pitched 17 straight no-hit innings this weekend. Here are more notes from around the National League.
- It was a hard day for Mets GM Sandy Alderson, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. He only reluctantly fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens, with whom he also worked in Oakland. “This is a very difficult decision to have to make,” said Alderson. “I’ve known Dave for many years — decades. I have tremendous respect for him, his expertise, his work ethic, his personal relationships with players.” Alderson says the Mets’ approach to hitting will not change dramatically under new hitting coach Lamar Johnson. Martino suggests that Hudgens was merely “the fall guy” for the performance of the team Alderson assembled.
- David Ortiz believes the Cubs‘ decision to hire his former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez as a Triple-A player/coach was a good one, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. Ortiz believes Ramirez has changed since he and the Red Sox parted company in 2008. “It’s a different guy. He’s been doing different things for the past couple of years,” says Ortiz. “I’ve been talking to him a lot on the phone and sometimes I get confused because I don’t know if I’m talking to him or not. This is legit.”
For those who are visual-minded baseball fans, the Los Angeles Times has an interactive graphic that allows users to see a side-by-side comparison of two teams' salaries on a position-by-position basis. After you're finished checking out what that looks like when you compare the Astros to the Dodgers and Yankees, here's more from around the league…
- "The handwriting is on the wall" that Brian McCann will be playing for a new team in 2014, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman opines that the strong play of Evan Gattis have given the Braves, who typically operate with a payroll around $90MM, the flexibility to let McCann walk.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he's approached Jordan Zimmermann's agents at SFX about the possibility of a contract extension. We heard earlier in the offseason that the Nats were interested in a long-term deal, but this is the first report of the team beginning negotiations.
- ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Cubs and Rangers also bid aggressively on Hyun-Jin Ryu this offseason but were blown out of the water by the Dodgers' $25.73MM bid (Twitter link). The Cubs bid $15MM and the Rangers bid $18MM, per Olney.
- Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN examines what has become a strong Twins farm system, highlighting under-the-radar prospects Josmil Pinto and Jorge Polanco. Mackey also spoke with former Twins skipper Tom Kelly about the improvements top prospect Miguel Sano has made defensively at third base.
Despite their rotation surplus, Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are "in no rush" to trade a starting pitcher, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley are dealing with minor injuries, and Ted Lilly is coming back from shoulder surgery. Even if all the Dodgers' starting pitchers are healthy, one scenario might be for Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to begin the season in the bullpen.
Previous reports have indicated that other teams may be trying to force the Dodgers into a tough spot by lowballing them on trade offers until the need to set their 25-man roster forces L.A. to make a decision about how to handle its eight starting pitchers. If one of their starters isn't healthy or if the Dodgers are willing to use several of their starters in relief, that negotiation tactic might not work. Forcing a number of starters to the bullpen, though, would simply move the logjam from one part of the team to another, where it might affect pitchers like Matt Guerrier and a number of younger relievers. Here are more notes from the Dodgers.
- The Dodgers may eat the remaining $8MM on Juan Uribe's contract, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports, but Uribe is trying to recast himself as a utilityman who can also back up Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Uribe's three-year, $21MM contract, signed after the 2010 season, almost immediately proved to be a poor investment, as Uribe hit .204/264/.293 in the first year of the deal, then .191/.258/.284 in 2012.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says his team should consider letting him go if the team does not make the playoffs, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. "If we can't get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice. There's a ton of talent here," Mattingly says. Mattingly is not under contract for 2014, and Shaikin reports that Mattingly does not expect to receive a contract extension before the season starts.
The Dodgers have signed Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu for $36MM over six years, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). The deal was struck just prior to the 4pm CT deadline and only 20 hours after signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147MM contract.
Ryu's deal includes innings-based performance bonuses worth $1M per year, which could raise the total of the contract to $42MM, according to Heyman (Twitter links). Heyman also reports (via Twitter) that Ryu can opt out after the fifth year of the deal. The opt out can be triggered if Ryu throws 175 innings during those five years, writes Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown. Brown adds Ryu will receive a $5MM signing bonus. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets that Ryu will earn $2.5MM in 2013, $3.5MM in 2014, $4MM in 2015 and $7MM annually from 2016-18.
Hernandez also breaks down (via Twitter) the innings-based performance bonuses and other details (all links go to Twitter) from the Scott Boras negotiated deal including: there isn't a no-trade clause, Ryu's salary can increase depending on how he fares in the Cy Young voting, Ryu can't be sent to the minors without his written consent, the Dodgers will pay for an interpreter, and Ryu's jersey will sport the number 99.
The Dodgers expect Ryu to be part of their starting rotation next season, reports Hernandez. Ryu joins Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang as starters already under contract. With this surplus, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com tweets Capuano or Harang could be dealt in the coming days or weeks.
Ryu was posted by the Hanwha Eagles last month and the Dodgers won his negotiating rights with a bid worth a bit more than $25.7MM. The 25-year-old has been one of the Korea Baseball Organization's most dominant pitchers over the last several years, helping Korea win Olympic gold in 2008 and finish second in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Ryu went 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA last season for last place Hanwha with 210 strikeouts in 182 2/3 innings. He has a 2.80 ERA over his seven-year career in Korea.
This marks the Dodgers’ second significant move in the international market since they were purchased by Guggenheim Baseball Management. In June, the Dodgers signed 21-year-old Cuban defector Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42-million contract.
As the Angels and Marlins can attest to, money doesn't always buy championships, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Last night, 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke agreed to a six-year, $147MM deal, boosting both their rotation and payroll. The Dodgers look stellar on paper, but Rosenthal cautions that inflated salaries often lead to inflated egos, raising the possibility of locker room turmoil. Here's more on the Dodgers..
- If the Dodgers don't sign Hyun-Jin Ryu today, they will shift their focus to free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez, a source tells Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Dodgers have until 4pm CST to ink a deal.
- A Dodgers source told Bowden (via Twitter) that he expects the talks with Ryu to go right down to the wire.
- Last night, the Dodgers established that they are the financial heavyweights of baseball, not the Yankees, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Greinke will become the fourth Dodger to average $20MM or more a season on his contract, joining Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Matt Kemp.
- It's easy to understand why Greinke chose the Dodgers over the Rangers, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The right-hander was said to be impressed by the presentation of Nolan Ryan and advisor Greg Maddux but ultimately chose to align with the free-spending Dodgers.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly understands the kind of must-win pressure he'll face in 2013 from his time playing for George Steinbrenner with the Yankees, Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
The Dodgers and Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu are still far apart in contract talks, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The two sides have until 4pm CT on Sunday to work out a deal.
Ryu, 25 and a Scott Boras client, was posted by the Hanwha Eagles last month, and the Dodgers won his negotiating rights with a bid worth a bit more than $25.7MM. Tomorrow marks the end of their 30-day negotiating window. Ryu has been one of the Korea Baseball Organization's most dominant pitchers over the last several years, helping the country to Olympic gold in 2008 and a second place finish in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.