December 24, 2019 10:41
Pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has agreed to a four-year deal worth US$80 million with the Toronto Blue Jays, U.S. media reported on Monday.
His Korean agency Aspec Korea confirmed the reports, saying, "We agreed to the Blue Jays' proposal. The deal will be finalized after a medical exam."
It is the second-largest contract for a Korean baseball player after the seven-year deal worth US$130 million signed by Choo Shin-soo in 2013.
Last season Ryu had the best season of his MLB career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, triumphantly returning from injury-plagued years. He finished the season with the MLB's lowest ERA of 2.32 and ranked second in the voting for the Cy Young Award for the National League.
But the road ahead of him is expected to be bumpy, as the American League applies the designated hitter rule, which allows teams to have one player to bat in place of the pitcher.
In addition, the Blue Jays belong to the American League East, which includes the two best MLB teams with lethal lineups, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
Ryu has a poor record against the Yankees, losing both of his starts against the team with an 8.71 ERA.
As for the Red Sox, he started against the team during the 2018 World Series but gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
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