Ryu’s agent, Scott Boras, told local media after attending the Major League Baseball General Managers’ Meeting on Sept. 9 (KST), “A lot of major league teams have contacted us and shown great interest. Ryu will pitch in the major leagues next year. He will not return to Korea.”
Boras even said that “several teams are planning to sign more than one starting pitcher.” This emphasizes that Ryu’s options are not limited.
In the past two weeks, most of the local media’s projections for Ryu’s free agency have been for a one-year deal.
The Athletic columnist Jim Borden estimated Ryu’s contract at “one year, $8 million plus incentives,” and wrote, “Ryu pitched impressively in his return from Tommy John surgery (TJS) on Aug. 1. He held nine of his 11 starts to three runs or less, and posted a 3.46 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. That’s positive, but it’s a paltry sum for a one-year deal.
However, Tim Britton of the same outlet wrote, “Ryu has regressed since 2020, but he’s had a longer stretch of standout performances than Genta Maeda. He’s pitched well since returning from the Tommy John waiver wire,” and gave projected contract values of “$10 million for Lance Lynn and Maeda, and $11 million for Ryu. Performance-based incentives will be included, he added.
John Heyman of the New York Post said that Ryu “could earn a major league contract with a solid finish to the season,” and introduced his predictions as “Expert 1: $13 million for one year, Expert 2: $10 million for one year plus incentives, and me: $12 million for one year. All of the experts, including himself, were projecting more than $10 million per year in guaranteed salary.토토사이트
Even though he’s healthy after his TJS, it’s hard to give him a guaranteed contract for more than two years, given his age (he’ll be 37 next year) and history of injuries.
Reporter Kylie McDonald wrote, “Like Lance Lynn, Hyun-jin Ryu is a backup who could get a pretty good one-year deal. But despite averaging 88.8 mph on his fastball and starting 17 games over the past two years, he could draw interest from teams that would offer him a multi-year deal.” “Given the difficulty of finding a reliable back-end starter who can take a backseat in the playoffs, a number of teams could offer him a short-term deal,” the article explained. By short-term, I’m referring to two-year deals. The implication is that it’s not unreasonable to invest that much in a four- or five-starter.
Whether it’s a one-year deal or a two-year deal, it’s reasonable to assume that the market demand for Ryu is solid.
In an article titled “11 Playoff Teams That Could Win the World Series in 2023,” MLB.com listed five teams that could be interested in Ryu: the Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, and Minnesota Twins. These are teams that could use Ryu as a third or fourth starter.
Based on the projections of local media outlets, Ryu could receive a one-year contract with incentives, a one-and-a-half-year deal with a club option, or a two-year guaranteed deal. In the case of a two-year deal, the average annualized value (AAV) would be less than the one-year deal, as suggested by ESPN. ESPN’s AAV is $7 million, which is less than expected, but it’s a two-year guarantee.
Other outlets offer only a one-year guarantee, but pay more than $10 million.
In general, the longer the contract, the lower the AAV. It’s a matter of player choice whether to sign a “short” contract with a high AAV or a “long” contract with a low AAV. Would Ryu choose a one-year contract with a high salary or a two-year contract with a relatively low salary?