Ya… Like That

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.

I will be the first to admit that until Saturday’s announcement that the Dodgers had won the bidding rights for Hyun-jin Ryu, I had never even heard of him – the 2009 World Baseball Classic notwithstanding. (Photo credit – Mark J. Terrill)

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.

Stay tuned…

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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.”

Will the seemingly endless rumors that the Dodgers will trade Andre Ethier finally come true? With Yasiel Puig in the fold and recent talk that the Dodgers are considering signing Torii Hunter to a two-year contract, I’m thinking yes. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

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.

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6 Responses to “Ya… Like That”

  1. ebbetsfld says:

    I think trading Ethier and replacing him with Hunter would be a terrible move unless they get a #2 man for the rotation in exchange. Even then Ethier plays every game and the #2 guy goes once every 5 games. Makes no sense to me.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      The Dodgers aren’t going to trade Ethier just to trade him, ebbetsfld; they will definitely be going after a top-tier pitcher for him. The bottom line is that the Dodgers absolutely need a number 2 and it really doesn’t matter that Ethier plays every day if the Dodgers lose 3 or 4 out of those 5 games. I understand your personal attachment to Dre, but the Dodgers simply will not be competitive with only Kershaw and a bunch of number 4s and number 5s.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I’ve read where some think because of his build he will become a reliever. I don’t expect the Dodgers have signed him for that. The relief thing comes because of his build, which is almost identical to Chan Ho’s.

    I don’t know how he will pan out at the MLB level but I do like our foray into international signings.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      There is absolutely no way that the Dodgers would ever invest upwards of $50 million for a reliever, Bluenose. Ryu will definitely be a starter for that kind of money.

      Also, Ryu has not been signed yet. The Dodgers have 30 days in which to reach a contract agreement with him (and Scott Boras). If they cannot agree on a contract, Ryu will have to wait another year and go through the bidding process again.

  3. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I’m surprised that Ryu’s posting bid is so low. This is the lowest, I’m sure, at least according to what I’m aware of. How do they arrive at this figure?
    I have this sickening feeling that Ethier is really on the trading block. I don’t really read about Colletti very strongly denying it. No matter how much we hear and read about this rumor, I’m sure it will come as a shock, if and when it happens.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Ethier has been the subject of trade rumors since the day the Dodgers acquired him. Simply put, he is expendable and if the Dodgers cannot acquire a number two starter through free agency or buying out a large existing contract, the only other way to get a top-tier starter is to trade for one (or two), and Ethier has a very high trade value.

      As I mentioned in the article, with Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson in the fold, replacing Ethier is do-able, unless, of course, Puig and Pederson are included in the trade package with Ethier, which I do not see happening (one yes, both no).

      With all of this in mind, I do not believe that most folks will be shocked if / when Ethier is traded; at least not for those who have been following what’s been going on over the past couple of years. Now that’s not to say that we won’t be disappointed if Dre is traded, but the absolute bottom line is that the Dodgers need a viable number two and number three starter if they are to be contenders.

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