Ryu Hyun-jin’s salary spikes… Wedge against ‘league-worst’ OAK, then Scherzer and Big Bang?
Just three months ago, the name of Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) wasn’t even on the radar screen of Major League Baseball’s free agent market. He was a veteran in his mid-30s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery to repair ligaments in his elbow. In fact, no one was sure of his comeback. It wasn’t too late to judge him once he was throwing normally.
But now, things are different. Ryu Hyun-jin has shown that he’s healthy since his return. Since returning from surgery, Ryu has pitched 29 innings in six games with a 3-1 record and a 2.48 ERA. He has a .213 batting average and a 1.03 walks per inning allowed (WHIP). While his velocity hasn’t returned, he has a full arsenal of pitches and a perfect command of them to keep major league hitters at bay. “Classy” is the word that comes to mind.
There are a limited number of big names in free agency. Teams aren’t just looking for them. Teams need to utilize their budget to meet their needs. And most teams have a problem in the first or second spot of their starting rotation. Unlike the bullpen, starters are hard to develop. It takes a long time to develop one good starter. That’s why there’s always a need for lower-level starters. This is true whether you’re a championship contender or a rebuilding team.
There is speculation that teams in need of a veteran starter on a short-term deal will be keeping a close eye on Ryu. It’s too early to make any concrete predictions, but based on the history of free agency, it’s entirely possible. It’s hard to see Ryu as a team’s ace right now. However, he’s a solid third or fourth starter for a championship team, or at least a third starter for a rebuilding team. His career and this year’s results prove it.
That’s why Clutch Point, an American sports publication, named Ryu one of the New York Mets’ top offseason targets on Wednesday. The Mets stumbled badly in their run to win the World Series this year. They sold off expensive championship pieces in Max Scherzer (Texas) and Justin Verlander (Houston), overhauled their lineup, and refocused on challenging for a title in 2025 and beyond.
In other words, 2024 is a rebuilding year. The Mets need a starter to help them rebuild. “Ryu fits the bill perfectly on paper,” said Clutchpoint. The idea is to use Ryu as a stepping stone on a one- or two-year deal with a higher salary, and then bring in a top pitcher when they decide it’s time to win a World Series. The Mets don’t have a lot of pressure because it’s a short-term deal. It’s a win-win situation for Ryu as he gets a raise and a stepping stone to his next contract.
There are plenty of teams looking to add this type of reinforcement. The expectation is that Ryu will be a good option. If there’s competition, he’ll get paid. In the end, it’s all about how well he performs in the remaining games and how pretty his resume looks. The stakes are high this year.
Ryu’s remaining schedule is pretty tough. First, he’s scheduled to start against Oakland at 4:37 a.m. on July 7. Toronto announced Ryu as their starter that day. He’ll be facing left-hander JP Sears.
You can’t always guarantee a win against a last-place team in baseball, but the A’s are a relatively easy team to beat. Oakland is the worst team in the league this year, along with Kansas City. The offense is bad, the defense is bad. The offense is one of the weakest in the league. Through three days, Oakland’s team OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) this year is .669, which ranks last out of 30 teams in the majors. Their OPS against lefties is also 0.679, 28th in the league.
Ryu has pitched against both Cleveland (30th in the league in OPS against lefties) and Colorado (29th in OPS against lefties) this year, and the results haven’t been bad. I didn’t allow back-to-back hits against either team. All of the runs I gave up came on walks. That’s why we can expect a good outing against Oakland. Ryu hasn’t lost to Oakland in his career.온라인바카
However, after this game, the schedule is pretty tough. There are no easy teams. If the rotation stays the same, the next opponent is Texas at 8:07 a.m. on April 13. Texas, along with Seattle and Houston, are in a tight race for the American League West lead, which means they’re also a contender for Toronto’s wild-card spot. The home four-game series is expected to be very hot. Toronto and Texas don’t have the best history.
Max Scherzer is the starter for Game 13. He left his last start early with some arm soreness, but there’s nothing wrong with him. Scherzer is a veteran with 213 career major league wins. He already has 3,361 strikeouts, three Cy Young Awards, and is a surefire Hall of Famer. If this matchup were to happen, it would be a battle of egos between veteran pitchers.
Assuming the rotation stays the same, Ryu will next face Boston at home, followed by a two-game series against Tampa Bay. Texas, Boston, and Tampa Bay all have strong bats, so it’s important for the Rangers to get as much as they can against Oakland and enter the final stretch on a good note.