A few days ago I posted an article entitled Dodgers Need to be Creative to Get Pitching Help; and while I certainly won’t flatter myself into honestly believing that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti actually read the article, he is doing exactly what I suggested that the Dodgers need to do to acquire some much needed pitching help for their ace Clayton Kershaw – be creative.
If you recall, during an interview with Colletti the day after the Dodgers’ 2012 season abruptly ended, he made it very clear that the Dodgers were looking to acquire Asian players, although he understandably would’t specify exactly who they were targeting. As such, Saturday’s major announcement that the team had won the $25.7 million bidding rights to negotiate with South Korean star pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone – especially in light of the Dodgers’ admitted interest in 18-year-old Japanese high school pitching phenom Shohei Otani.
The thing that you need to remember here is that Ryu is being represented by none other than the baseball Antichrist himself, Scott Boras (go figure). And while Boras once intimidated Ned Colletti during the miserable McCourt era, new ownership’s fat checkbook has pretty much brought an end to that – and Scott Boras absolutely positively knows this. As such, you can bet that Boras is licking his chops big time over this one.
When all is said and done and including the $25.7 million posting bid for Ryu, he could very well end up costing the Dodgers upwards of $60 million. And while this is absolutely mind-boggling, it is far less than what the Texas Rangers spent to acquire Japanese superstar pitcher Yu Darvish at this very time last season. Darvish, as you recall, signed a six-year / $56 million contract with the Rangers – this on top of the record $51,703,411 posting bid that the Rangers paid to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters just to negotiate with him. In other words, Darvish’s posting bid was slightly more than double what Ryu’s is.
If it sounds to you that I am confident that Hyun-jin Ryu will become a Dodger, then there is nothing wrong with your hearing. I absolutely believe that he will. I say this not just because the Dodgers won the bidding rights to him, but rather because if no deal is reached between Ryu and the Dodgers, he cannot participate in another posting process until next year; and at age 25, you can pretty much bet that neither he nor Boras want to wait another year to bring him into the MLB.
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Other Dodgers news
For the first time since signing a 5-year / $85 million contract extension earlier this year, the all-to-frequent yet always denied rumor that the Dodgers might be willing to part with Andre Ethier has reared its ugly head again. According to Mark Saxon at ESPN LA, the Dodgers have “…made it clear to other teams that they would consider trading Ethier.”
Even though we’ve all heard this rumor many times before, and each time it comes up both the Dodgers and Ethier invariably deny any truth to it, the rumor seems to have a bit more substance to it this time, especially with the Dodgers in desperate need of top-of-the-rotation starting pitching and with Cuban star outfielder Yasiel Puig (and to a lesser extent Joc Pederson) in the minor league fold. But what adds even more credibility to the rumor this time around is that, according to Saxon, the Dodgers are currently in talks with 37-year-old four-time All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter on a possible two-year deal.