The “Korean Monster,” Ryu Hyun-jin (36), may be on his way out of Toronto, but there’s still a chance for the Blue Jays to hold on to Korean baseball fans.
The American sports publication “The Athletic” wrote about “13 Free Agents the Toronto Blue Jays Could Target” on Nov. 11 (KST) and brought up the name of “genius hitter” Lee Jung-hoo (25).
“He doesn’t have a ton of power, but he makes great contact and rarely strikes out,” said ‘The Athletic’, describing him as a player with excellent hitting skills.
“He was the KBO League MVP last year, but this year his season ended early due to a fractured ankle. Toronto spent four years with Ryu Hyun-jin and developed a strong bond with Korean baseball fans, and acquiring one of the best young hitters in the country could continue that bond.” Even if Toronto is unable to re-sign Ryu Hyun-jin, it is speculated that signing Lee Jung-hoo would be met with enthusiastic support from Korean fans.
Toronto reached out to Ryu when he hit free agency after the 2019 season, signing him to a four-year, $80 million contract. At the time, Hyun-Jin Ryu was on the rise with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leading the National League in ERA and finishing second in the Cy Young Award voting, and the Jays decided to make him their new “ace”. In 2020, the shortened season, Ryu went 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA and finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting. In 2021, he went 14-10 with a 4.37 ERA, the most wins on the team. Last year, he went 2-2 with a 5.67 ERA before undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he returned in August of this year and went 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA, signaling a resurgence.
Now, Ryu’s four-year contract with Toronto is up. It’s unclear if Toronto will re-sign him. It’s also unlikely that Ryu will choose Toronto again. The Jays already have a solid starting rotation of Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi, and if Alex Manoa comes back from his struggles this year, they’ll be virtually untouchable. 무지개토토 주소
So, how much would Toronto have to give to land Lee? According to The Athletic, Lee’s contract is worth four years and $56 million. In fact, Toronto is in need of infield reinforcements with center fielder Kevin Kiermaier set to become a free agent. It will be interesting to see if Lee becomes Toronto’s new center fielder.
In addition to Lee, The Athletic lists Cody Bellinger, Jamer Candelario, Justin Turner, Tim Anderson, Jorge Soler, Rueredes Gurriel Jr.