“Popular Sale” Ryu Hyun-jin’s New Destination Has Disappeared… “Boston Missing 155km Left-hander, There’s an Alternative”

January 11, 2024 | by

Although his trip to the New York Mets failed, Ryu Hyun-jin (37) was still a hot item for Major League teams to consider. This time, the Boston Red Sox, a prestigious Major League team in the eastern U.S., has emerged as a new destination.

The Boston Globe reported on the 10th (Korea time) that “Shota Imanaga (31, Yokohama BayStars), a Japanese left-hander that Boston was aiming for, has decided to go somewhere else,” adding, “However, options remain. They are left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin, James Paxton (36), and right-hander Marcus Stroman (33).

One step earlier, several local U.S. media outlets, including The Athletic and USA Today, reported that Imanaga agreed to a contract with the Chicago Cubs and will undergo a medical test in Chicago on the 11th. The specific contract size is not known, but according to MLB Network’s John Morosi, it is reported to be worth 15 million dollars (about 19.8 billion won) annually.

Imanaga has emerged as an alternative to teams that have missed out on No. 1 and No. 2 players in the FA market, Shohei Ohtani (30) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (26) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Imanaga, who was selected by Yokohama as the No. 1 rookie draft pick in the Japanese professional baseball league in 2015, recorded a total of 165 games (1002 ⅔ innings) with 64 wins, 50 losses with a 3.18 ERA and 1021 strikeouts. He is also familiar to Korean baseball fans as he joined the national team at the 2017 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), 2019 Premier 12, and 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Despite his short stature at 178 centimeters, he is said to be excellent at inducing swings and misses outside the strike zone with fast balls up to 155 kilometers per hour, high-quality sliders, and changeups. Last year, he recorded 7 wins and 4 losses with a 2.80 ERA, 29 percent strikeout rate and 4 percent walk rate, and showed a powerful pitching against Korea at the 2023 WBC by allowing three hits (one homer) and three strikeouts with no outs and one run in three innings. In the Major League, he predicted that up to two starters will be possible.

Based on his career and evaluation, Imanaga applied for posting on November 12 last year and the deadline was 7 a.m. on the 12th. Boston has worked on Imanaga for quite a long time. According to sources, Boston showed interest in Imanaga’s posting from the beginning, and he reportedly participated in the negotiations until at least the morning of the 9th. However, regarding the possibility of negotiations, Boston’s proposal seems to be lagging behind other teams, the Boston Globe explained.

The Boston Red Sox started looking for a starting pitcher again. The Boston Red Sox had 78 wins and 84 losses last year, and aimed to rebuild its starting lineup. The Boston Red Sox had the most innings and wins last year, and Brian Bello (25), in his second year since debut.

Cutter Crawford (28), who recorded 12-11 with a 4.24 ERA, was 6-8 with a 4.04 ERA in 31 games (129 ⅓ innings), Tanner Hook (28) was 6-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 21 games (106 innings), Chris Sale (35) was 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 20 games (102 ⅔ innings), and Paxton was 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 games (96 innings).

It is necessary to strengthen the pitching staff, but there were limitations. Big money was not invested. Boston’s total salary for the 2024 season was 163 million dollars on Jan. 10, ranking ninth in the Major League based on the U.S. sports annual salary statistics site Spotrac. To reduce such an inefficient annual salary structure, Boston’s leadership hesitated to make large investments, which was why it was pushed back in Imanaga’s negotiations after Ohtani and Yamamoto.

For this reason, he searched for cheap and potential pitchers, and one of them was Lucas Giolito, a right-handed free agent who earned 38.5 million dollars for two years in November last year. Giolito had an average record of eight wins and 16 losses with an ERA of 4.88 and 204 strikeouts in 184 ⅓ innings in 33 games last year alone. He had 41 homers, ranking first in the American League.

However, even last year, when he was sluggish, he had the most innings in his personal career and had the 13th most strikeouts in the Major League. Boston’s expectations were also reasonable as he was an All-Star pitcher who ranked sixth in the American League Cy Young Award with 14 wins, nine losses and an earned run average of 3.41, including three complete games (two shutouts).

The structure of the contract has also provided some safety measures. According to ESPN’s Jeff Bankruptcy, Giolito’s annual salary is 18 million U.S. dollars in 2024 and 19 million dollars in 2025, and if he opts out after the 2024 season, he will receive 1 million dollars in buyout. A conditional option is at stake in 2026, and if he throws less than 140 innings in 2025, he will receive 14 million dollars in club option. If he throws more than 140 innings, he will have a mutual option of 19 million dollars for 1.5 million dollars in buyout.

Afterwards, 헤라카지노도메인 the team gave up 17 million U.S. dollars in cash assistance to the Atlanta Braves and made a one-on-one trade to receive infielder Von Grissom. By removing the sale, which had remained under contract until next year, the team reduced its total annual salary. Such a deal was made possible by the starters of Giolito-Nick Pivetta, 31, Bello-Hook and Crawford.

It was Ryu Hyun-jin and other five starting candidates that turned their eyes again. In fact, it is not the first time that the Boston Red Sox have reportedly been watching Ryu. The Boston Globe reported on May 15 that Ryu, along with Paxton and Sean Menaea of the New York Mets, is a candidate who will strengthen the team’s bottom rotation. On May 27, another Boston local media outlet MassLive said that Ryu is another option to reinforce Boston’s starting lineup along with Mike Clevinger (34), Menaea, Michael Lorenzen (32), and Frankie Montas (31). MassLive mentioned Ryu on May 1 again, referring to the next step in the team’s lineup after the sale trade.

It is a situation that is repeated over and over again, but it is a new destination that has emerged since Ryu Hyun-jin’s steadily mentioned trip to the New York Mets failed. The strongest connection to Ryu was the New York Mets. However, Ryu Hyun-jin’s move was also in the dark when it was reported that the Mets signed a two-year, 28 million-dollar contract with Menaea on the 7th and withdrew from the starting pitcher market.

“Boston is still looking for starters. Left-handers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are still available, but chances are low that Boston will sign. Ryu, Paxton, and Stroman are other players who are still available. (If that doesn’t work at all), the Boston Red Sox will be looking to trade a young starter who has a lot of service time left,” the Boston Globe reported.


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