Free agent left-handed pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (36) is expected to sign a short-term contract worth around $8 million (approx. KRW 10.8 billion) per year, according to local reports.
Jim Bowden, a former Major League Baseball (MLB) general manager and columnist, predicted the destinations and salaries of the top 40 free agents in the stadium through U.S. sports media outlet The Athletic on Jan. 1 (local time).
He ranked Ryu 35th overall, predicting that he could sign a one-year deal in the $8 million range, “but it’s more likely to be an option-heavy deal than a guaranteed one.”
His age, surgical history, and restraint issues will make it difficult for him to sign a long-term deal.
The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and Detroit Tigers are among the teams that could be a good fit.
“Ryu has been impressive this year since returning from elbow ligament reconstruction surgery, starting 11 games and allowing three earned runs or less in nine of them,” Bowden said, “going five innings in six and six in one.”
“His fastball sits between 87 and 89 miles per hour (about 140 and 143 kilometers per hour), and he has a .276 batting average on his changeup and a .238 batting average on his cut fastball,” the article continued.
However, Bowden believes that Ryu could be even better in 2024 than he was this year.
Ryu, who played his final contract season in Toronto this season, has been recovering in Korea since returning home on March 18.
Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes), who is trying to break into the MLB with a posting system, was ranked 37th.
Bowden rated Lee’s price tag as “unexpected,” but predicted that many teams, including the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Toronto, and Detroit, would be in the running to sign him.
“MLB scouts are divided on Lee’s hitting ability, with some believing he will hit for power immediately upon entering the league, while others believe he will need a year or two to adjust,” he said.
“Some think he’s a .270 hitter, while others think he’s a triple-digit hitter,” he said.
Bowden also weighed in on Lee’s individual skills.
“Lee has good contact and initiative, and he has more walks than strikeouts in the KBO,” he said.
In terms of defense, he said, “Lee is a good center fielder with a strong arm,” and “his jumping ability and ability to follow balls are good.”
He also evaluated his power. “He has a longer-than-average stride, but he’s not a great stealer,” he said. He also criticized his lack of long-ball power.
Meanwhile, Bowden picked “superstar” Shohei Ohtani as the No. 1 overall free agent this winter.
“He’s going to get a big contract, 10 years, $477 million ($648 million) total, with options for $500 million ($679.2 million) or more,” he wrote.
No. 2 overall is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, ace of the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball. He is expected to sign a seven-year contract with a price tag of $211 million ($286.6 billion). 무료슬롯게임