Dodgers: Should LA sign Madison Bumgarner or Hyun-Jin Ryu?

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers waits to pitch in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers waits to pitch in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 28: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on September 28, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The case for bringing back Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu has really taken his game up a notch over the last two seasons with the Dodgers.  After posting an ERA of 1.97 in an injury-shortened 2018 season, Ryu followed that up with a stellar 2019 season that made him a finalist for the National League Cy Young award.  Last season, Ryu pitched to an ERA of 2.32.  His ERA would’ve been even lower if he didn’t go through a rough patch in the second half.

The issue with possibly bringing Ryu back is his age and injury history.  Ryu is almost three years older than Bumgarner as Ryu will turn 33 years old in March while MadBum turns 31 years old next August.  Ryu missed half the season in 2018 with a torn groin muscle and he has already undergone labrum surgery on his shoulder.  The market for Hyun-Jin is expected to be a deal around 3-4 years which carries a good amount of risk.

Ryu may outperform Madison Bumgarner over the next few seasons but the question is how many starts will he miss?  In the postseason, Ryu has had success in the NLDS but in the 2018 NLCS and World Series, he was knocked around by the Brewers and Red Sox.  It’s far too small of a sample size to make a judgment off his work but it’s fair to wonder if Ryu will be a good playoff starter over the next several seasons.

Hyun-Jin Ryu seems comfortable in Los Angeles and the Dodgers would know exactly what type of performances they are getting from him.  The only question is how many starts will he make over the next three seasons.

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