Top U.S. media have praised two Major League Baseball clubs for signing talented Korean players in light of their stellar performances, hailing the moves as being among the best decisions of the season.
In an article titled "The 10 best decisions of 2013," U.S. sports network ESPN on Wednesday included the Cincinnati Reds' move to add Choo Shin-soo to their roster and the Los Angeles Dodgers' acquisition of Ryu Hyun-jin. It put the former trade as No. 6 on its list and the latter as No. 8.
The Dodgers have already clinched the National League West Division title this season, while the Reds have advanced to the postseason via a wild-card game.
Referring to how the Reds were in need of a reliable first hitter, ESPN reporter David Schoenfield wrote that signing Choo "was a perfect example of a team identifying an obvious need."
"Even though he struggles against left-handers, Choo is second in the National league in on-base percentage, walks and runs. His defense in center field has been a minor liability instead of a major one," he added.
Meanwhile, he said Ryu has already proved his value for the Dodgers. The club "brought Ryu over from Korea with a US$25.7 million bid and a reasonable six-year, $36 million contract," which in retrospect seems like a bargain, he added.
The Dodgers pay Ryu about $10 million a year. He has already played a major role in their success this season, having gone 14-7 with a 2.97 ERA.