“There are plenty of $15 million-$20 million starting pitchers to replace Hyun-jin Ryu.”
The fall of fate has arrived for Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has until the end of the month to play out a tight American League wild-card battle with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners before the final report card on his four-year, $80 million contract in Toronto.
In August, Ryu made a successful comeback after a year and two months of rehabilitation from his second career Tommy John surgery. In eight starts, he is 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA. Despite losing his last two starts, he recorded his first quality start since returning to the mound (six innings, five hits, five walks, one strikeout, three runs) at home against Texas on Aug. 13.
His 0.220 BABIP and 1.05 WHIP are better than his best 2020 season (0.234 BABIP and 1.15 WHIP). As he rehabs, he’ll bring back his ultra-slow curveball and use it against major league hitters once again. His command of his pitches is among the best in the majors.
After this season, he will be a free agent again. That’s when we’ll find out exactly how much Ryu is worth to Major League Baseball. You can virtually eliminate a return to the KBO’s Hanwha from Ryu’s list of destinations for next year. The general consensus is that he will stay if the major leagues want him. There will always be a demand for value-priced 4-5 starters.
The Jays Journal, which covers Toronto for FanSided, analyzed Toronto’s 2024 payroll on Wednesday and found that the Jays will have to part ways with some free agents if they don’t want to pay the luxury tax for a second straight year. This season’s luxury tax threshold was $233 million, and next year’s is projected to be $237 million.
Along with Ryu, Matt Chapman, Brandon Belt, Kevin Kiermaier and Jordan Hicks will become free agents after this season. Whit Merrifield is also a free agent if his option is not exercised. Leadoff hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a free agent after the 2025 season. It’s been a downward spiral the last two years, but it’s time to start thinking about whether you’re in it for the long haul. There are a number of other players who are eligible for salary adjustments.
The loss of Ryu may not be noticeable, but it could be the result of a fine-tuning of the payroll. It wouldn’t hurt for Ryu to look elsewhere in free agency. He’s shown he’s competitive again, and pitchers Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Julio Urias (LA Dodgers) are out for one reason or another anyway.스포츠토토
The Jays Journal believes that next year’s Toronto payroll will be at least $200 million and likely closer to $237 million. “If the Jays decide not to impose the luxury tax for a second straight year, they could sign free agents to replace Ryu, Chapman, Belt, Kiermaier, Merryhild and Hicks,” the Jays Journal wrote. “There are plenty of starting pitching options in the $15 million to $20 million range on the free agent market to replace Ryu.”
In the end, Toronto may not be interested in signing Ryu. Instead, Jays Journal recommends pursuing free agents like Ohtani, Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) and Teoscar Hernandez (Seattle Mariners). If they do land Ohtani, they should be prepared to pay the luxury tax.