The Dodgers Should Consider Extending Hyun-Jin Ryu
The Dodgers’ stockpile of starting pitching grew when Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the qualifying offer. Now Ryu has turned into the best starting pitcher on the team.
Hyun-Jin Ryu gave the Dodgers another quality start on Sunday, leading them to a series victory over the Cincinnati Reds. For Ryu, it was his seventh quality start this season in nine starts. He now leads all of Major League Baseball with a dazzling 1.52 ERA. Hyun-Jin is going to enter free agency again this winter and cannot be offered the qualifying offer again.
This means there would be no potential draft pick compensation if Ryu went elsewhere. The Dodgers should make sure Ryu doesn’t go elsewhere and extend him now for another two or three seasons. While Ryu has Scott Boras as his agent, perhaps Ryu’s love for Los Angeles could help lead to an in-season extension.
At thirty-two years old this season, Ryu could likely net a three or four-year deal. Since he does have a checkered injury history, a three-year deal extension with the Dodgers would make the most sense. Given the current market and the hesitation of teams to give longer-term deals to non-superstars, the Dodgers could probably get a deal done at 16-18 million a season for three years. A 3/48 or 3/54 deal would be a fair deal for both sides.
The only knock on Hyun-Jin Ryu has been his health. Last season he missed significant time with a bad groin injury and this season he spent time on the IL with another groin injury. He also had shoulder surgery missing the entire 2015 season and all but one start in 2016 in order to get his labrum repaired. Outside of injuries, Ryu has been a very effective starter for the Dodgers.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
- Dodgers ironically sign former all-star to potentially replace Cody Bellinger
- Padres-Xander Bogaerts contract feels like Manny Machado desperation
At Dodger Stadium, Ryu has been even better which makes him the perfect match to stay in Los Angeles. At home this season, he has a 5-0 record and 1.22 ERA compared to a 2.01 ERA on the road. Still magnificent, but also still a full run higher. For his career, Hyun-Jin has a 2.66 ERA at Dodger Stadium compared to a 3.52 ERA on the road. While those splits are not as pronounced as 2018, it’s still clear he goes from solid to elite at home.
Another reason Ryu should be extended is that the Dodgers only have Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, and Kenta Maeda under contract next season besides the starting pitching prospects in the minors. Julio Urias is still waiting on his investigation that could alter his future with the Dodgers and the team could use another veteran innings eater in for next year.
Every year the Dodgers show that you can never have too much pitching. This season is no different which is why even with five starting pitchers slotted beyond this season, the Dodgers should try to extend Hyun-Jin Ryu now. Ryu has morphed into a very good starting pitcher, and it would be a shame for him to leave after this season. He deserves to be a Dodger for his entire career.