Hyun Jin Ryu remains uncertain about future: ‘Only time will tell’
Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
By Thomas Hall1 month ago
Hyun Jin Ryu is unsure where his professional career will take him next as he inches toward the open market following a four-year stint with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 36-year-old, an impending free agent, landed in Korea on Wednesday, where he intends to stay this off-season. But coming off a 10th season in North America, it’s still too early to tell what next season may have in store for the left-handed starter.
Ryu said he plans to wait things out before deciding on his status for the 2024 season, as reported by Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency.
The 2019 All-Star added he still plans to finish his career with the KBO’s Hanwha Eagles, saying, “I haven’t changed my mind on that. I will absolutely make that happen.” He played seven seasons with the Eagles from 2006-12 before leaving for the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of the 2013 campaign.
After spending six seasons in Los Angeles, Ryu joined the Blue Jays organization as a free agent during the 2019-20 off-season, inking a four-year deal worth $80 million. The veteran hurler returned ahead of schedule from Tommy John surgery this past season, posting a 3.46 ERA with 38 strikeouts across 52.0 innings in 11 starts.
Ryu was left off Toronto’s post-season roster during this fall’s wild-card series against the Minnesota Twins. When asked about the situation, he explained, “I understood the team’s decision [not to put him on the Wild Card roster]. But I was getting ready to pitch in the rounds beyond the Wild Card. It would have been great if the team had won.”
The South Korean native also provided his thoughts on the controversial pitching change involving teammate José Berríos in Game 2, outlining, “There’s nothing you can do about that as a pitcher. You have to accept it.” But at the same time, with Berríos dealing over his first three innings, the southpaw added that “it must have been disappointing” to be pulled before allowing a run.
In Ryu’s four seasons with Toronto, he earned a 3.97 ERA and a 24-15 record while recording 269 strikeouts over 315.0 innings in 60 starts. The 6-foot-3 hurler’s signing in 2019 marked the conclusion of the franchise’s two-year rebuild, signalling the beginning of the club’s current competitive window.
While much of his tenure occurred away from Rogers Centre, thanks to the COVID-shortened 2020 season and Tommy John surgery, Ryu still enjoyed his time with the Blue Jays even though it “flew by really fast.”
Ryu isn’t eligible to receive a qualifying offer this winter after being issued one by Los Angeles prior to signing with Toronto.
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