“Where will Ryu Hyun-jin play next year?”
That’s the question on the minds of many Major League Baseball fans in 2023. Hyun-jin Ryu’s four-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays ends after this season. He’ll hit the market five days after the World Series ends.
It’s not exactly an ideal situation. He is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. It’s rare for a player recovering from a major surgery like Tommy John to perform well in their comeback season. Usually, it takes a while for them to regain their senses and get back on track the following season. But for Ryu, there’s a big river in between: free agency.토토사이트
Ryu is in the final year of his four-year contract with Toronto in 2023. Photo by MK Sports DB
The initial goal of a late-season comeback is on track. He’s made two successful rehab starts and will throw two more in Triple-A. Don’t be surprised if we hear about his return in July.
At least Ryu is lucky compared to some of the other free agent veterans who will be hitting the market. His hometown team, the Hanwha Eagles, is one of them.
Ryu has made it clear in the past that he wants to end his career in Korea, and with Hanwha. Given his age – he’s in his mid-forties – it’s time to start thinking about a return. Some have even speculated that he’s already talked about it.
What does the player think? After his rehab appearance in Single-A last weekend, I asked him, “Is it possible that this could be your last season (in the big leagues)?” He said, “Yeah, it is. It’s up in the air,” he said.
If he decides to stay in the big leagues in 2024, what will keep him here?
Ryu paused for a moment, then replied, “The fact that I can still compete?”
Some veterans find a team in free agency on a split deal and then struggle to make the opening day roster in spring training.
“I don’t think I’m going to do that,” Ryu said, adding that a “major league contract” is the standard for staying in the big leagues.
As with any free agency market, a number of veteran pitchers will be available after the 2023 season. Left-handed starters include Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Jordan Montgomery, James Paxton, Martin Perez, Blake Snell, Julio Urias, and Alex Wood. Andrew Heaney, Sean Manaea, Wade Miley, and Eduardo Rodriguez could be on the market depending on the terms of their contracts.
That seems like a lot, but given the injury-prone nature of the position, an experienced lefty starter is always going to be in high demand. Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton even went so far as to say that “lefties are gold”.
In the end, it will be his performance in the rest of the season and the market that will determine whether he stays in the big leagues.
The market is out of the player’s hands. All he can do is make the best of his return.
“It depends on what I do in the next two months,” he said, biting his lip.
After joining the Blue Jays, Ryu will make his third rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo a day later on June 16. According to local media outlets such as Sportsnet, it will be a four- to five-inning, 65-pitch outing.
A payoff pitch is a pitch that a pitcher throws on a three-pitch, two-strike, full count. Translated, it’s a “deciding pitch. Sometimes it’s a heavy fastball, sometimes it’s a sharp changeup, and sometimes it’s a miss. Once the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, it’s no longer the pitcher’s, and once it leaves the writer’s hand, it’s no longer the writer’s. It’s up to you, the reader, to decide.