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Hyun-Jin Ryu Rumors
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.
- Several teams asked the Rockies about Carlos Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Rockies told clubs that both Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki weren't available, having not changed their stance from last month about trading their top two stars.
- The Dodgers' negotiations with Ryu Hyun-Jin will go right down to Sunday's deadline, a team source tells ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Twitter link). Los Angeles will lose negotiating rights with the Korean left-hander if a deal can't be worked out by Sunday. The two sides were thought to be far apart on Tuesday, though the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras had exchanged offers and were continuing talks.
- The Padres are using their bullpen depth, infield depth and Jesus Guzman as trade bait, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his most recent chat with readers.
- Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan told reporters (including Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News) that they looking for, respectively, a fourth guaranteed year and the most expensive possible contract, and were both happy that the Giants met their desires. “I know my age,” Scutaro said. “I was looking for the best contract. This might be my last one. When (the Giants) made the best offer, it was very exciting.”
The Dodgers are the favorite for Zack Greinke, which may be why they're shopping starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. They're also fishing around for a player to pair with Hanley Ramirez on the left side of the infield. Other rumors around the team:
- The Dodgers are interested in Cardinals infielder Skip Schumaker, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The Dodgers' offer to Ryu Hyun-jin "fell a tad short," GM Ned Colletti told reporters including Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Agent Scott Boras suggested Ryu could make the jump from South Korea to Japan if the Dodgers can't get a deal done, which Hernandez finds far-fetched since it is unprecedented. At any rate, Boras said he's presented the Dodgers with a counter-offer and negotiations continue.
Here are a few of the latest updates out of 2012's Winter Meetings:
- Officials with two separate clubs tell Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers have spoken to them about offering Michael Young in a trade.
- Despite some buzz that the Rockies may consider moving Jhoulys Chacin, a team source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that's not something the club is considering at the moment.
- Trade interest in Gavin Floyd is high, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- Besides seeking starting pitching, the Royals are also looking to add a utility infielder, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- Carlos Marmol will meet with Cubs president Theo Epstein today to discuss his future in Chicago, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Marmol had agreed to waive his no-trade clause when the Cubs reached an agreement to trade him for Dan Haren, but after that deal fell through, it may be more difficult for the right-hander to waive his rights again.
- Agent Scott Boras says that Japan is a "very viable option" for Hyun-Jin Ryu next season if he doesn't reach an agreement with the Dodgers, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The Dodgers bid $25.7MM last month for the right to exclusively negotiate with the South Korean southpaw, and have until Sunday to work out a deal. At the moment, the two sides appear to be far apart, says Hernandez.
"We're in on so many players that we might need two or three teams," joked Dodgers GM Ned Colletti today at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Colletti says his team has gone from being an afterthought to being the go-to team whether they're involved or not. The latest on the NL West superpower:
- Colletti said he's yet to make offers to any free agents, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Colletti prefers to "push things to the point that it’s in their court to engage us in a serious negotiation." The Dodgers' GM did see Zack Greinke's agent Casey Close today.
- The Dodgers are talking to 10-12 teams about potential trades, Colletti said (Hernandez reporting).
- The Dodgers have a deadline of 5pm eastern to reach an agreement with South Korean lefty Ryu Hyun-jin, and keep in mind that he would have to take a physical as well. The Dodgers won the right to negotiate with the Scott Boras client for $25.7MM, which would be returned if an agreement cannot be reached. Colletti told Yahoo's Tim Brown and other reporters the two parties are not necessarily on a pace to get a deal done, while Boras said he's yet to receive an offer.