Ryu Hyun-jin One Step Closer to MLB as Hanwha Gives Its Blessing

Ryu Hyun-jin Ryu Hyun-jin

Ryu Hyun-jin may get to live his dream of playing in Major League Baseball next season as his team Hanwha Eagles decided to make him available for posting on Monday, meaning he now has a chance of being picked up by an MLB club.

"After discussing the matter with manager Kim Eung-yong, we have decided to allow Ryu to play in the MLB if his value as a player is recognized overseas," it said.

Ryu has played for the Eagles for seven seasons. The posting system is akin to a blind-bidding system, with the highest bidder being given the exclusive right to negotiate with the posted player.

It is uncertain how much money or interest Ryu will draw from MLB teams, but some sports experts expect to see intense competition lead to transfer fees of between US$10 million and $20 million.

"I'm grateful to the team for making me eligible to be posted, thereby putting me a step closer to the MLB," Ryu said. "If I don't get much attention from MLB teams, I'll keep playing for my club here and country and try my luck overseas at a later stage."

If any MLB teams express interest in Ryu, the Korea Baseball Organization is obligated to inform Hanwha. The KBO can also post Ryu's availability to U.S. clubs if Hanwha requests it.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 30, 2012 11:15 KST