The Dodgers have extended a qualifying offer to left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). He’ll have ten days to decide whether to accept the one-year, $17.9MM offer.
While all of the other qualifying offer recipients were fairly straightforward cases, it was hardly clear that Ryu would receive one. But the Los Angeles organization has shown time and again that it is not afraid of risking money on talented pitchers who come with health questions, so they have decided to stake a hefty pile of cash on a player they originally signed out of Korea six seasons ago.
Since coming to Los Angeles, Ryu has been steadily excellent — when healthy. He owns a career 3.20 ERA in the majors, but hasn’t yet cracked 600 total innings because of significant shoulder and elbow surgeries along with a groin tear. In the 2018 campaign, Ryu recorded 82 1/3 frames of 1.97 ERA ball, with an appealing mix of 89 strikeouts and just 15 walks backing the results.
Given the health history, the 31-year-old Ryu may well consider taking the offer. If not, he’ll enter the free-agent market in search of a contract that likely won’t pay him quite at that annual rate, but could certainly included much more total guaranteed money. Of course, his market would be harmed to some extent by the fact that a signing team would need to surrender draft compensation to add him.
Ultimately, the Dodgers will end the day having issued qualifying offers to two players: Ryu and Yasmani Grandal. The club unquestionably would have had another in Clayton Kershaw, but locked him up with a new deal before the deadline for him to exercise an opt-out clause.