Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays), who laid the foundation for a comeback this year, is attracting attention as he expresses his intention to remain on the American stage next year.
Ryu Hyun-jin’s 2023 season ended with the Toronto Blue Jays failing to advance to the American League Division Series.
Toronto lost 0-2 to the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of the 2023 Major League American League Wild Card Series held at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on the 5th (Korean time), and was unable to advance to the division series with a series total of 2 losses.
Toronto, which recorded 89 wins and 73 losses in this year’s regular season and ranked 3rd in the American League’s wild card, ‘pulled’ its way into the postseason, suffered two consecutive losses to Central Division champion Minnesota in the wild card series and left the fall baseball stage lonely. Of course, it is true that Minnesota is the team that won the Central Division, but Minnesota’s regular season record was 87 wins and 75 losses, which was lower than Toronto’s winning percentage, and Toronto was singled out as an opponent they could easily beat, given that they are part of the relatively less competitive Central Division. It wasn’t easy.
With this, Ryu Hyun-jin’s 2023 season has also come to an end. Toronto excluded Ryu Hyun-jin from the Wild Card Series roster. There was no reason to include ‘5 starter’ Ryu Hyun-jin in the Wild Card Series, which was played with 2 wins out of 3. If Toronto had advanced to the Division Series, there was a possibility that Ryu Hyun-jin would have been included in the roster to secure starting resources. However, due to Toronto’s early elimination, Ryu Hyun-jin’s fall baseball appearance was also completely canceled.
This means that Ryu Hyun-jin and Toronto’s partnership has virtually come to an end. This is because Ryu Hyun-jin’s free agent contract with Toronto expires at the end of this season. Ryu Hyun-jin pitched 182⅔ innings in the 2019 season when he was with the LA Dodgers, and had the best season of his career with 14 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 2.32, ranking first in the National League’s ERA category and second in the Cy Young Award voting. He also entered the free agent market and signed with Toronto. signed a four-year contract worth $80 million (approximately 108.2 billion won).
Ryu Hyun-jin pitched 67 innings in 2020, which was a shortened season, and continued his stable pitching with 5 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 2.69. He finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting and successfully completed his first season after moving to Toronto, but he started as a starting pitcher in the opening game of 2021. Even though he achieved 14 wins, he had to go through hardships, such as giving up the ace position to Robbie Ray as his ERA jumped to 4.37. To make matters worse, the season ended early due to Tommy John surgery in June of last year.
And then there was a gap of about a year. Ryu Hyun-jin did not give up and devoted himself to rehabilitation, and was able to make a thrilling comeback against the Baltimore Orioles on August 2nd. Ryu Hyun-jin, who appeared in 11 games this season, pitched 52 innings and recorded 3 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 3.46, laying the foundation for a comeback. Above all, it was significant in that he did not skip the starting rotation after returning from injury. This means that he has proven his health.
Ryu Hyun-jin is also expressing his intention to play in the major leagues next year as he has shown the possibility of a complete comeback through this season. Ben Nicholson-Smith, a reporter for the Canadian media ‘Sportsnet’, said on his social media on the 5th, “Ryu Hyun-jin said he wants to sign with a major league club next season as well.”
There have been rumors of a return to Korea, but Ryu Hyun-jin’s priorities still have a strong place in the major leagues. When Ryu Hyun-jin returns to Korea, he must return to Hanwha. Ryu Hyun-jin, who began his professional career at Hanwha in 2006, signed a contract with the Dodgers through the posting system after the 2012 season. According to KBO regulations, Ryu Hyun-jin must sign a contract with his original team, Hanwha, when he returns to the KBO league. As Hanwha prepares to open a new stadium in 2025, it is constantly monitoring Ryu Hyun-jin’s movements. Ryu Hyun-jin also promised, “I will finish my career at Hanwha.” But that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.
Now that Ryu Hyun-jin has announced his intention to play in the major leagues next year, we must pay attention to what the results will be in the upcoming free agent market. Will Ryu Hyun-jin be able to play on the big league mound next year? Local media gave a positive outlook for Ryu Hyun-jin, who is about to enter free agency.
On the 6th, ‘MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR)’, which covers major league news, reported that Hyun-jin Ryu expressed his intention to play in the major league next year, and also predicted the possibility of Ryu Hyun-jin remaining in the major league.
On this day, ‘MLBTR’ said, “Ryu Hyun-jin has completed the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto. Ryu Hyun-jin, who began his career in Toronto as a finalist in the 2020 American League Cy Young Award voting, has an ERA of 4.37 and an ERA of 4.37 in 2021. Earned average (FIP) regardless of defense: 4.
‘MLBTR’ then said, “Ryu Hyun-jin told local reporters that he hopes to continue pitching in the major leagues in 2024, and it seems reasonable for him to expect a big league contract through free agency as a starting pitcher.” Hyun-jin Ryu signed a free agent contract next year. It was predicted that he would play in the Edo Major League. This outlook would not have been possible if he had not recovered from injury this year and proven his health. However, MLBTR also added that it would be difficult for Ryu Hyun-jin to sign a long-term contract. MLBTR’s prediction is, “Considering the recent surgery, a one-year contract appears to be appropriate.” Ryu Hyun-jin is also expected to not be too hung up on the duration of his contract, as his top priority is to remain in the major leagues.토토사이트
So where is Ryu Hyun-jin’s new destination? It is not yet known which team Ryu Hyun-jin will wear next year, but the possibility that it will not be Toronto is growing increasingly likely. ‘MLBTR’ mentioned Ryu Hyun-jin and left-handed first baseman Brandon Belt, who are eligible for free agency, and predicted that they are unlikely to wear Toronto uniforms next year as well. ‘MLBTR’ pointed out, “Currently, Ryu Hyun-jin and Belt’s future in Toronto is uncertain.”
Toronto already has solid 1st to 4th starters such as Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi, and if Alec Manoa, who has been underperforming this year, succeeds in his revival, the 5th starter position will be filled, so there is no need for Ryu Hyun-jin to remain in Toronto. There seems to be no reason to do it.