Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, will continue to stay with the Toronto Blue Jays, as the club has left room for him to sign a one-year extension.
The American publication ‘The Athletic’ covered Toronto’s offseason questions on Nov. 11 (KST). One of them is the return of free agent Ryu Hyun-jin. In his season-ending press conference on Aug. 8, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins left the door open to the possibility of re-signing Ryu, saying, “Ryu could be an option,” in reference to internal free agents.
Caitlin McGrath of The Athletic Toronto asked, “Should the Blue Jays bring Hyun-jin back?” “Hyun-jin’s successful return from Tommy John surgery was one of the team’s best stories of the second half of the season. With a 3.46 ERA in 11 starts, Hyun-jin has been a reliable fifth starter for Toronto.
“Ryu’s four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto ahead of the 2020 season was a satisfying conclusion. The deal is believed to have ushered in an era of postseason contention for Toronto. After missing fall ball for three consecutive years before signing Ryu, the Jays invested aggressively in Ryu, reaching the postseason three times in four years.
McGrath continued, “Ryu will be 37 next season and has averaged 89.8 mph (144.5 km/h) on his fastball this year. ‘After his final start of the season, Ryu said he hadn’t given much thought to his future,’ McGrath continued.
‘If Ryu wants to pitch one more full season, Toronto could be a desirable destination. He’s already well-liked in the clubhouse and feels comfortable in the organization, so he could stay. Having spent four years in Toronto, Ryu is familiar with the organization and the players. If he were to move to another team, he would need time to adjust, but he doesn’t have to do that in Toronto.안전놀이터
From Toronto’s perspective, having a proven veteran starter like Hyun-jin Ryu is a good thing. However, the question is how much Toronto wants Ryu and what they are willing to offer. “With only one spot left in the starting rotation, the Jays may want to keep it open for Alec Manoa or another young starter,” McGrath wrote.
Toronto is in a good position, with all four starters – Kevin Gausman (2026), Jose Berrios (2028), Chris Bassett (2025), and Yusei Kikuchi (2024) – under contract through next year. If Manoa, who has struggled this year but is only 25 years old, rebounds, Ryu may not be given the full-time starting job. If Ryu wants a guaranteed starting job, he’ll have to leave Toronto.
How Toronto evaluates Manoa could also affect Ryu. Manoa, the American League Cy Young Award runner-up a year ago, has struggled with his pitches this year and has been demoted to the minors twice. Atkins said, “It’s very difficult for a pitcher to go down to the minors when they’re having success. Manoa didn’t agree with the decision, and there was some frustration. But he didn’t request a trade. We’re focused on finding a solution with him, and we’re focused on putting him in a position to be successful.”