The Los Angeles Dodgers have long been players on the international market. Yasiel Puig is the top name that comes to mind when drawing the recent connection, but the organization's scouting of Asian players has also been prominent.
LA scooped up Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda from South Korea and Japan in recent years, and have made the most out of those acquisitions. They were among the suitors for Shohei Ohtani before he chose the Angels. And who could forget Hideo Nomo, who started it all?
Andrew Friedman is continuing his work on that front, too, and according to the latest rumors, the Dodgers, as of Monday, were "on the verge" of signing Korean pitching prospect Hyun-suk Jang. The right-hander, who's still in high school, recently announced he was forging the KBO draft to fulfill his dream of playing in Major League Baseball.
The 19-year-old was expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the KBO draft on Sept. 15, for which he would've had to declare by Aug. 15.
As for the process on the MLB side, the international signing period is open until Dec. 15, so the Dodgers have time to get their ducks in a row, which they started doing after the trade deadline when they acquired international bonus pool money in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.
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Jang has a fastball in the upper 90s and mixes it with a slider, sweeper, changeup and curveball. He's been unhittable at the high school level, registering a 0.33 ERA in his 27.1 innings this season.
It's unclear what it'll cost to land him, but it's either not going to be too pricey or he's already chosen the Dodgers as his preferred destination if the rumors have accelerated in this manner. It's unclear how much money LA acquired from the White Sox, but it had better been a decent amount, because they were extremely low on that budget both coming into the signing period and before the trade was made.
The Dodgers could quickly respond to the Padres landing the No. 1 overall international prospect earlier this year and immediately improve the already stacked pitching situation in their farm system.
And who knows ... maybe they end up with Ohtani too right around when they (hopefully) bring in Jang.