MLB Rumors: Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a 4 year, $80 million deal, per multiple reports. The free agent left handed pitcher was considered the last of the really solid free agent starting pitchers still on the market, and was reportedly being pursued by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, among other teams.
Ryu, who turns 33 in March, accepted the qualifying offer from the Dodgers after the 2018 season, when he had put up a scintillating 1.97 ERA, but only threw 82.1 IP in 15 starts. Ryu led the majors in ERA in 2019, putting up a 2.32 ERA in 182.2 IP, positioning himself to cash in big, particularly given that, having been offered the QO once before, he could not be offered it again (and thus does not require draft pick compensation).
Ryu’s injury history — he missed virtually all of 2015 and 2016, as well as time in 2017 and 2018 — was expected to limit the length of his contract. Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs predicted 2 years, $32 million, while MLB Trade Rumors predicted 3 years, $54 million (and that he would land in Texas). Ryu, obviously, got a lot more than that.
With the top starting pitchers now off the free agent market, we can expect teams to start exploring the possibility of acquiring David Price (or Nathan Eovaldi, or Chris Sale) from the Boston Red Sox. In addition, teams needing quality starting pitching could inquire with the Rangers on Mike Minor, who is in the last year of his deal, and who the Rangers could more easily part with in the right deal given their current rotation depth.