Hyun-jin Ryu Beats Deadline To Add To Embarrassment of Dodger Pitching Riches

December 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Hyun-jin Ryu | Leave a comment

Well, they weren’t kidding about taking this down to the wire, were they? It took a Jon Heyman tweet four minutes after the deadline to get the news out and nearly forty minutes more to get contract details, but Hyun-jin Ryu has officially signed with the Dodgers after taking every last second of his negotiating period to do so.

Ryu, 26 in March, gets himself a six-year deal worth $36 million (plus $1m per year in performance bonuses – I believe I was the first to report 6/$42m), with the ability to opt out for the final year if he throws 750 innings in the first five seasons, per Tim Brown. The total outlay on him, including posting fee, is $62 million — more if he hits all the bonuses — and if that sounds like a lot, well, it is. On the other hand, people like to act as though “mid-rotation starter” or “#3 guy” is a negative term, but every team needs those guys to win. You’ve seen what’s happened to the market this year, and it’s fair to expect that’s only going to go up in future seasons. Looking at it that way, this seems like a pretty fair deal for both sides – and good on the Dodgers for locking him up for at least five years, when Scott Boras was asking for two or three to start with.

As I’ve been saying for weeks, I never believed the rumors that this wasn’t going to get done, though I’ll admit to some amount of uneasiness as the final minutes ticked off the clock. Now that we know the posting fee is official, I’ve added it to the payroll tracker, and, wow: including dead money, the Dodgers have $263.59m on the books for 2013, and that’s not going to be the end of it, not even close. I haven’t added Ryu’s yearly salary yet, since I haven’t heard the breakdown, and they still need to find an outfielder, maybe a third baseman, and settle arbitration cases. I mean… just, good lord.

Not that everyone still around is going to be around, of course. Looking at the updated depth chart… well, that’s a hell of a lot of starting pitching, isn’t it? The rotation currently looks to be:

Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke
Chad Billingsley
Hyun-jin Ryu
Josh Beckett

Which… yep, and there’s reports (which I cannot confirm, and honestly don’t put a ton of stock into) that they may yet still somehow retain interest in Anibal Sanchez or James Shields or Kyle Lohse. That puts Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, & Ted Lilly squarely on the trading block, and it’s a good thing, too; with Ryu & Greinke, the 40-man roster is now full.

It’s truly amazing how the weekend has gone, really. If you’d done nothing but listen to the public reports two days ago, you’d have been absolutely certain that the Dodgers would get neither Greinke or Ryu and we’d be stuck trying to convince ourselves that signing Lohse wasn’t the worst idea in the world. (It is.) Look how far we’ve come now.

Fun, isn’t it?

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