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Hyun-Jin Ryu Rumors
Excel Sports Management now represents Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. When agent J.D. Smart left Hendricks Sports for Excel earlier this year, Kershaw made the transition too. At the time it wasn’t clear if Smart was bringing Kershaw with him. Agent Casey Close, who oversees Excel’s baseball department, will assist Smart in contract talks for Kershaw.
The Dodgers have expressed interest in reaching a long-term extension with Kershaw. However, Heyman reports that the sides haven’t started discussing a new deal. The left-hander will earn $11MM in 2013 then hit free agency following the 2014 season. He has considerable leverage after winning the 2011 Cy Young award and finishing second in this year’s balloting.
The Dodgers are focused on their contract negotiations with Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and on free agent pitchers, Heyman writes. Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez are on Los Angeles’ radar and Kyle Lohse could be of interest as well.
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Buster Posey was named the NL MVP today, becoming the first Giant since Barry Bonds in 2004 to capture the leagues highest honor. It was a solid year overall for the NL West when it came to postseason awards, as Clayton Kershaw and Wade Miley each had runner-up finishes in the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year races, respectively.
Here's the latest from around the division…
- Scott Boras introduced client Hyun-Jin Ryu to the media (including Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times) today and compared Ryu to Mark Buehrle in terms of body size and ability. The Dodgers won the rights to the Korean southpaw with a $25.737MM posting bid and have until December 10 to work out a contract, or else Ryu will return to the Korean Baseball Organization. As Hernandez notes, Boras and Ryu were both vague about the likelihood of Ryu signing with L.A., though the Buehrle comparison could be a hint about Boras' contract expectations.
- Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (Twitter link) has the salary breakdown of Jeremy Affeldt's new three-year contract with the Giants. Affeldt receives a $3MM signing bonus and will earn $5MM per season in 2013-15.
- Jason Giambi withdrew his name from consideration to be the Rockies' next hitting coach, and Giambi told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that "it could be a PR nightmare" if the team struggles under new manager Walt Weiss and Giambi (a finalist for the manager's job) is already on the staff. Giambi had said he wanted to keep playing if the Rockies didn't hire him to manage but now admits to Renck that "I have no idea what I am going to do next."
- The Rockies have finalized their 2013 coaching staff, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Jim Wright, the club's pitching coach in 2002, returns to the job after most recently serving as Colorado's bullpen coach.
The strategic question for the Rays is whether they can get more by being pre-emptive and making a trade with a team that doesn't want to get shut out of a high-priced open market or instead waiting on those teams that do miss out in free agency, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Here's more Sunday afternoon linkage..
- Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo told Jim Bowden of ESPN Radio (via Twitter) that Adam LaRoche is the club's number one priority right now as signing him would help make the rest of the winter easy for them. The first baseman declined the Nats' qualifying offer on Friday.
- While some have wondered if the Orioles could be interested in Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun doesn't see it happening. For starters, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette likes the Orioles' options at second base which include Ryan Flaherty, Brian Roberts, Robert Andino, and the recently-acquired Alexi Casilla.
- A scout in Korea told David Lennon of Newsday (via Twitter) that the teams most aggressive in scouting Hyun-Jin Ryu were the Rangers, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Blue Jays, Twins, and obviously the Dodgers. The Yankees and Mets were not in on the left-hander.
- New Rockies manager Walt Weiss is expected to be demanding right off the bat in his first foray into the job on a professional level, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Earlier today, the Dodgers made history when they submitted the winning bid on Hyun-Jin Ryu for $25,737,737.33, the largest ever for a South Korean player. Here's more on the Dodgers..
- The Dodgers won't be trading Andre Ethier, so Torii Hunter would need to accept a lesser role if he signed with them, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The veteran, who is close with both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, has interest from nine other clubs including the Tigers, White Sox, Rangers, and Mariners (Twitter link).
- Clayton Kershaw's hip issues won't deter GM Ned Colletti from working out a new deal with Clayton Kershaw, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I think we'll probably sit down and talk about it once we get past this period of time, the free agent period of time," Colletti said. "We signed him for another year, there's another year after that. That said, if there's a common ground on both sides, it's worth investigating."
- Agent Scott Boras says that Ryu wants to be a starter in the major leagues, tweets Hernandez. Boras added that if Ryu doesn't wind up signing with the Dodgers, he expects the posting fee to increase dramatically next year (Twitter link).
The Dodgers won the negotiating rights to Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu with a $25,737,737.33 bid, MLB has announced. It's the largest bid ever for a South Korean player, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says (on Twitter) that there was at least one more bid in the $20MM range. The numbers three and seven are considered lucky in Korea, hence the unusual winning amount. Ryu is a Scott Boras client and the two sides will now have 30 days to work out a contract since the Hanwha Eagles have already accepted the bid.
Ryu, 25, was posted earlier this month. He's been one of the Korea Baseball Organization's most dominant pitchers over the last five years or so, helping the country to Olympic gold in 2008 and a second place finish in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. ESPN's Keith Law said Ryu has an 88-91 mph fastball and a "plus changeup with good arm speed and a fringy curveball in the upper 70s, which is a better left-on-left option right now than his slider." He ranked the southpaw 37th on his Top 50 Free Agents list and said he could wind up in the bullpen given concerns about his durability and thick body.
The Dodgers already have six starters, but Ted Lilly (shoulder), Chad Billingsley (elbow), and Clayton Kershaw (hip) are coming off injuries. Upgrades over Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano could be found as well. Los Angeles has reportedly kicked the tires on free agents like Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and Hiroki Kuroda this offseason, though it's unclear how winning Ryu's rights would impact their search for pitching. They still have to sign him first, of course.
Jon Heyman, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, ESPN's Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian all reported on the story, mostly through Twitter. Dan Kurtz of MyKBO first reported the winning bid amount (on Twitter) while Mike Petriello of the blog Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness first reported that the Dodgers had won the bidding (on Twitter).
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Josh Hamilton's asking price of seven years and $175MM is too rich for the Mariners' blood, but if that price drops to $80-85MM over four or five years, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times feels the M's should make a play for the outfielder. We heard yesterday that the Mariners were interested in Hamilton, as the club continues to pursue free agent hitters for the less pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.
Some more news from around the AL West…
- Angels GM Jerry DiPoto said that his team is interested in Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa and that the feeling is apparently mutual, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Fujikawa has been considered to be Japan's top closer for the better part of a decade and is available to be signed without a posting fee. The Dodgers and Red Sox have also been rumored to be interested in Fujikawa.
- The Rangers apparently made a posting bid on Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, reports Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter), though he doesn't have full confirmation. Teams had until 4PM CT today to place a bid on Ryu, and if the KBO's Hanwha Eagles accepted the highest bid, Ryu and agent Scott Boras could then negotiate a contract with that MLB team.
- The Rangers are interested in right-hander Joakim Soria, reports FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi (Twitter link). At least eight teams have checked in on the former Royals closer thus far, and Soria has also said he would be happy to pitch for the Yankees as Mariano Rivera's set-up man.
- The Astros project to have a very low payroll in 2013, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Houston's payroll could be around $30MM, a big drop from the Padres' $55.2MM league-low payroll on Opening Day 2012, though Rosenthal notes that the MLBPA and Commissioner's Office aren't likely to object given that the Astros are in the first stages of a major rebuild.
NOVEMBER 2nd: The KBO informed MLB that Ryu will be posted, according to a KBO press release (link in Korean via Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net). The bidding can begin once MLB informs its teams about Ryu's availability.
OCTOBER 29th: The Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization will post South Korean left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu in a move that could be the first step toward a Major League Baseball career. The Eagles will accept bids for Ryu via the posting system this offseason, Jee-ho Yoo of Yonhap News reports.
Once the Eagles post Ryu, interested MLB teams will submit secret bids. After the bids are in the Eagles will decide whether to accept or decline an offer for the 25-year-old. If the Eagles accept an offer then Ryu, a Scott Boras client, would negotiate a deal with MLB the team that won the rights to sign him. Assuming the sides reach an agreement, the Eagles would then collect the posting fee from the MLB team. Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net has a copy of the posting rules for MLB and KBO teams.
Ryu has been one of the KBO's most dominant starting pitchers since 2006, according to the Yonhap report. He was on the South Korean team that won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and placed second in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
NOVEMBER 16th: Yoon has decided to remain with the Kia Tigers for the 2012 season, according to reports out of Korea (link in Korean).
NOVEMBER 8th: Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon has hired agent Scott Boras and may be posted in time to spend the 2012 season with a Major League team, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Yoon is the reigning MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization and played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Boras says he’ll speak with Yoon about entering the posting system. If the 25-year-old decides against the posting system, he’d hit free agency a year from now. Yoon, who throws a 93 mph fastball with a slider and a change, posted a 2.45 ERA with 9.3 K/9 in 172 1/3 innings for the Kia Tigers this season.
Boras also represents 24-year-old left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who posted a 3.36 ERA in 126 innings in Korea this past season. Ryu “can post before next season and would hit free agency in 2014,” Passan writes.