In an interview with a South Korean news outlet, Hyun-Jin Ryu noted that it would be ‘special’ to play with Texas Rangers veteran Shin-Soo Choo.
The Texas Rangers are looking to add a notable starting pitcher this offseason and have undoubtedly considered free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu. Shin-Soo Choo has already noted that he asked the Rangers front office to look into Ryu this offseason. Ryu was asked about Choo’s comments by Yonhap News Agency and said it would be “special” to play alongside a fellow countryman.
Ryu, who is coming off a stellar season for the Dodgers, is one of the best starting pitchers on the free agent market headlined by Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. The veteran right-hander finished as an NL Cy Young finalist in 2019 thanks to his NL-best ERA of 2.32 and a stunning 1.007 WHIP. Ryu posted an fWAR of 4.8 last season which would trail only Lance Lynn’s 6.8 fWAR on the Rangers pitching staff.
While Ryu’s numbers were stellar last season, his ERA+ of 103 suggests he benefitted heavily from pitching inside Dodger Stadium for half the year. That note, along with his extensive injury history, play a role in why he isn’t in line for the massive paydays that Cole and Strasburg are expecting. However, Ryu sits near the top of the second tier of starters that includes Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler.
Ryu is expected to get 3-4 years on his next contract which likely will be the last of his big league career as he turns 33 in March of 2020. FanGraphs community projections have the crafty vet landing a three-year deal worth $57 million or $19 million per year.
The Rangers have already been a team heavily connected to Ryu with scouts inside the organization high on his ability. If he were to join the Rangers, he’d create a stout trio of starters in Arlington alongside Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, which is a strong foundation to a competitive rotation. This is a player that Rangers fans should keep an eye on this offseason.