Sports media outlet Bleacher Report predicted Ryu’s price tag ahead of his free agency on March 9 (ET).
‘Corey Kluber and Johnny Cueto were the same age as Ryu last winter when they signed for $10 million and $8.5 million, respectively, with a team option for a second year. Both pitchers have struggled this season, which could have a slight negative impact on Ryu’s market value, but if Ryu finishes the season strong, he should be able to sign for one year and $12 million with incentives based on the number of starts he makes and a second-year option.
After returning from the Tommy John surgery, Hyun-jin Ryu was on a roll. He was 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a .219 batting average in seven games, and many thought he had regained his “vintage Ryu” form.
Kluber and Cueto were both born in 1986, one year older than Ryu.
For starters, Kluber was eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, going 10-10 with a 4.34 ERA in 164 innings over 31 games, signing with the Boston Red Sox for $10 million for one year and a team option for $11 million in 2024. However, it is unlikely that the team option will be exercised as he has appeared in just 15 games this year. That’s because he suffered a shoulder injury in June that ended his season.
Cueto had a pretty solid year in 2022, going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 games and 158⅓ innings pitched, and signed with the Miami Marlins in free agency after the season for one year, $8.5 million, with a team option for 2024. Like Kluber, he battled an arm injury this year before returning in the second half to pitch 13 games. Again, the team option is unlikely to be exercised.
Both players’ 2022 numbers were good enough to be fourth or fifth starters for any team. Boston and Miami offered “one plus one” because of their age (mid-30s) and injury history. Ryu returned in the second half of the season and pitched 11 games, going 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA. There were no injury lingering effects. That’s why Kluber and Cueto are free agents. The one-year, $12 million deal projected by Bleacher Report with a team option isn’t bad.
Here’s another example.
Noah Syndergaard returned from a year-and-a-half-long rehabilitation after receiving the Tommy John surgery in March 2020 to start two games at the end of the 2021 season. He pitched one inning each, giving up two runs on three hits in a total of two innings. He was eligible for free agency later that year, signing a one-year, $21 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Syndergaard had previously turned down an $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Mets, indicating that he was confident in the market. In addition to the Angels, the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees were also in contact with Syndergaard.
Despite only pitching two innings after returning from Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard was in high demand because his pre-surgery numbers with the Mets were stellar (121 games, 59-47, 3.71 ERA) and he was only 29 years old.
Syndergaard was traded from the Angels to the Philadelphia Phillies last year, and in 25 appearances between the two teams, he posted a 3.94 ERA in 134⅔ innings. It was a pretty solid record. So much so that he was eligible for free agency again last winter, signing a one-year, $13 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The 30-year-old Syndergaard, who is highly sought-after in free agency, drew interest from three or four teams, some offering multi-year deals and others averaging more than $13 million per year,” MLB.com wrote at the time, adding that “he was betting on a one-year deal, given the Dodgers’ tradition of giving pitchers big money 토토사이트.
This suggests that Syndergaard signed with the idea that he would perform well for the Dodgers and get a better deal in free agency. However, he moved back to the Cleveland Indians in late July and finished the year with a 2-6 record and a 6.50 ERA in 18 games. Finding a new team doesn’t look easy.
All three of these pitchers are examples for Ryu to follow. Cueto was a Tommy John surgeon in 2018. Kluber won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and 2017 while in Cleveland. Syndergaard’s best years came in 2015 and 2016, shortly after his debut. What all three have in common is that they all bombed this year after signing one-year contracts.
For now, Ryu is likely to have at least some market demand. The market for starting pitchers is always “active. Ryu’s miraculous comeback from Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career suggests that a one-year deal in the $10 million range is still possible.