Monday, December 10, 2012
Dodgers Sign Greinke In Drunken Hookup, Ryu, Too
- Over the weekend, the Dodgers signed Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu for the insane figure of $62M. At least, that's the figure MLB.com's Ken Gurnick provides; the LAT claims it's only $36M to the pitcher and the balance as a posting fee to his Korean team. In addition, MSTI records that he has $1M annually in performance bonuses available. Not following Korean ball, I don't know for sure but that seems like that posting fee has to be some sort of record for anyone out of that country.
Ryu profiles as a starter, and had a 98-52 record with a 2.80 earned-run average with Hanwha. I don't know enough about him to know how well he'll translate to the majors, but it appears that he may have been the best Asian pitcher available this offseason. A different viewpoint comes from the always-interesting Fangraphs. Eno Sarris writes
Of course, Ryu’s changeup is his best pitch, while Wells was known for his curveball. You can scout Ryu yourself with this youtube playlist put together by Dan at MyKBO.net if you like (The video embedded below probably has the best angle). And it’s a little early to say that Ryu has a four-pitch mix like wells. He throws four pitches, yes, but by most accounts, his slider is not exciting and his curveball may just be a lefty-on-lefty type of pitch that won’t solve a platoon issue if righties like his changeup.Sarris doubts Ryu will survive all six years in the rotation.
- The big signing of the weekend, of course, has to be former Angel Zach Greinke, with the Dodgers opening an apparently bottomless spigot of money for a $147M/6-year deal, according to early reports in the Times. Apparently, also, he can exit the deal after three years, which the Dodgers would hope he does if he stinks (much like J.D. Drew did, to the Dodgers' relief).
I try, as a matter of principle, to avoid getting too excited about any particular signing, one way or another. Usually with free agents, I'm skeptical, and this case is no exception. Greinke was actually pretty good for the Angels late in 2012, but not enough of a difference-maker to salvage a lost season. He at least has been healthy; MSTI was thrilled, given that the next step down was Kyle Lohse. Gah. Not a ringing endorsement, but it has its limited advantages.