Got Heem!

No, not Brian Wilson… Ryu Hyun-jin – the newest member of the Dodgers.

UPDATE: The deal is reportedly a six-year/$36 million deal and includes innings-based incentives worth $1 million per year, which could bring the total value of the contract to $42 million. Additionally, Ryu can opt out of the contract after the fifth year of the deal if he has pitched 750 or more innings.

Not Bad – 1) Kershaw, 2) Greinke, 3) Ryu, 4)?? 5) ??
(Photo credit – Mark J. Terrill)

Who’s next?

How about Aníbal Sánchez or Kyle Lohse… or both?

The Beat Goes On!



Here is the official Dodgers press release regarding today’s signing of Ryu:

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of left-handed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a six-year contract. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. 

“We are excited to welcome Hyun-Jin Ryu to Los Angeles and the United States, continuing the tradition of Korean pitchers with the Dodger organization,” said Colletti.  “The Dodgers continue to show the commitment to signing players from Asia and other international areas where baseball is played at the highest levels. We are looking forward to watching Ryu pitch for the franchise.”

Ryu, whose name is pronounced He-YUN Jin Ree-YOO, has gone 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA in 190 career games with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization. The 25-year-old was selected as a KBO All-Star in all seven of his professional seasons from 2006-12 and won the KBO strikeout title five times (2006-07, 2009-10, 2012), while holding the circuit’s single-game strikeout record (17 set on May 11, 2010) and averaging nearly a strikeout per inning with 1,238 Ks and only 383 walks in 1269.0 frames. After winning the pitching triple crown by having the league’s lowest ERA (2.23), most strikeouts (204) and highest win total (18) in 2006, he became the first and only Korean player to be named rookie of the year and player of the year in the same season. Ryu added a second ERA title in 2010 (1.82), when he also won the second of his two KBO Gold Glove Awards (also: 2006).

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder went 9-9 and ranked fifth in the league with a 2.66 ERA in 27 games. He limited opponents to a .232 batting average and led the league with a career-high 210 strikeouts, 66 more than any other KBO hurler.

Ryu has made 14 appearances at the international level, winning a gold medal as a member of the South Korean team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and earning a silver medal pitching for Team Korea in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In the Olympic competition, he went 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA and tossed a five-hit shutout in a win over Canada during pool play. In the WBC, the left-hander went 1-0 record with a 2.57 ERA (2 ER/7.0 IP) in five games (two starts), including two scoreless relief appearances at Dodger Stadium in the semifinals against Venezuela and the championship against Japan.

When he makes his Dodger debut, Ryu will become just the 14th South Korea native to play in the Majors and the fourth to play for the Dodgers behind Hee-Seop Choi (2004-2005), Jae Seo (2006) and Chan Ho Park (1994-2001, 2008), who was the first Korean to play in the Majors when he made his debut in 1994. Park went 84-58 in 275 games (181 starts) in nine seasons with Los Angeles and pitched in 17 big league seasons with the Dodgers, Rangers, Padres, Mets, Phillies, Yankees and Pirates from 1994-2010. He earned an All-Star selection in 2001, when he finished third in the NL with a career-high 218 strikeouts.

“Congratulations to the Dodgers and Ryu on this great signing,” said Park. “I’m excited to see him carry on the tradition of great international pitchers in Dodger blue and have Ryu represent Korean baseball in the United States.”

The Dodgers have a long history with the development of Korean baseball dating to 1981, when Tommy Lasorda hosted clinics and lectures in Korea with Japanese pitcher Senichi Hoshino. The relationship continued in 1990, when the club hosted team presidents from the Korean Baseball Professional League for a baseball workshop and seminar and the club became the first Major League team to have a game broadcast in the Korean language on Sept. 9 of that year. On several occasions the Dodgers have hosted Korean baseball teams during Spring Training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL, doing so with the Hanyang University team in 1995 and in 2000 with the LG Twins of the KBO following the clubs’ working agreement, signed in 1999. Most recently, Korean fans flocked to a sold out Dodger Stadium and created an electric atmosphere in support of their team during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

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19 Responses to “Got Heem!”

  1. Evan Bladh says:

    This is reminding me of a SNL Weekend Update Sports report from back in the 70s. I think it was Bill Murray that announced in 76 or 77 that the “New York Yankees have just signed the entire American and National League All Star teams

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      …and the South Korean All-Star team, too. 🙂

      I’m lovin’ it.

      Take that, Giants fans!

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Don’t want Sanchez or Lohse. Chad Billingsley’s health is of major significance to us. Don’t want any more long contracts. Lee, Reed, Garcia need a place to play. Gotta trade a starter or two.

    Kershaw, Greinke, Billingsley, Hyun-Jin, Beckett. Not too shabby.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      I can’t go All In on Billingsley just yet, Bluenose. I have yet to hear of anyone with a torn elbow ligament (partially or otherwise) come back without TJ surgery. I would love nothing more than for Chad to be the first, but I’m having a difficult time believing that he will. It would seem that Ned Colletti, Stan Kasten and Mark Waters might see it this way, too – hence the Greinke and Ryu signings.

      I think we’ll know before the end of spring training if Billingsley is 100% or not.

      • KSparkuhl says:

        And if he’s not, the Dodgers now have an arsenal of starting pitching to allow Chad to go under the knife barely unnoticed.

        • Ron Cervenka says:

          After what we saw in Bills this past season, the thought of a 100% healthy Chad Billingsley (even if after TJ surgery) is scary good.

          Welcome back.

        • Bluenose Dodger says:

          Who is that masked man? Hey Kevin – good to hear from you, eh!


    Oooooh Marco Scutaro!!!!! I’m really scared!!

  4. thinkblue55 says:

    No confidence in Beckett being a number 4 starter? If we get Losch then I guess Beckett is our anchor…what if we Sanchez too? 6 guys for 5 spots plus Bills, Lilly, Capuano and Harrangatang. Talk. About. Depth. Not to mention some very attractive bargaining chips.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      I’m with you on this one, 55 – I believe that Beckett would be a great number 4, and I would be more than happy to move him to number 5 behind Lohse. I certainly would not put Billingsley ahead of Ryu – at least not until I am convinced that he is 100%.

      I still believe that Zach Lee will be in the rotation at some point during the 2013 season, not so much Chris Reed. I have no idea if Onelki will make it up this season, as I never saw him pitch in the AFL (although he did well in his two brief appearances there). I expect that he will spend 2013 in Chattanooga.

      I see both Capuano and Harang now being traded for a SS, 3B or 2B in the next few weeks.

      • Bluenose Dodger says:

        I have Beckett as #5 above. If he pitches for us as he did last season, reports in shape, he will be a good #5.

        Lohse is 34 just coming off his best two years. Up until now the staff was getting younger. I don’t want to see it start getting older already.

        Chad’s health, as noted above is a concern. He has had a big influence on staff building because of the uncertainty.

  5. thinkblue55 says:

    Early details are 6 years 36 million plus up to 1 million a year in incentives. He can opt out after 5 years.

  6. OldBrooklynFan says:

    This is like a dream come true. The Dodgers see who they want and go out and get them without any financial difficulties.

  7. funkyjam says:

    I find it interesting that the Dodgers see Ryu as their #3. Cant wait to see what he’s made of.

    • Bluenose Dodger says:

      That is a good question. We are excited about it as it seems to be a coup but he is certainly untested at the MLB level. I expect the scouting work has been pretty reliable. Maybe a lefty Chan Ho.

      • Ron Cervenka says:

        The kid has been in the Korean professional league for 7 seasons and made their All-Star team every year. Granted, this isn’t the MLB, but that’s pretty impressive.

        Press conference at the Ravine this afternoon – more to follow.

        • Bluenose Dodger says:

          Very impressive. Hoping he is Chan Ho like. Am wondering if Chan Ho will be hired as his interpreter.

          • Ron Cervenka says:

            I recently texted (is that a word?) with my good friend Jack Delance, who represents a lot of former Dodgers through his company JD Legends Promotions, and I suggested that he hook up with Chan Ho Park. Jack indicated that Chan Ho will most likely remain in Korea but he will probably come stateside from time to time with his involvement with the Vero Beach Sports Complex along with Hideo Nomo and Peter O’Malley.

            I don’t expect that Chan Ho will be doing much interpreting for Ryu.

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