Hyun-Jin Ryu has been an overlooked name on the free agent market thus far, and the New York Yankees could possibly be targeting him.
Ryu, 32, is coming off a 2nd place finish in the NL Cy Young race, leading the Dodgers to the postseason with Clayton Kershaw having a down year. He had a 2.32 ERA over 29 starts, but did fade a little bit towards the end of the season.
Ryu has a career ERA under three over seven seasons.
How Serious Could The Yankees Be?
Hyun-Jin Ryu is by no means the top target for the Yankees, but could be a plan B. Going to plan B would be if the team fails to sign Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.
Zack Wheeler was originally considered plan B, but was recently picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies on a five year, $118 million deal.
There are a few major drawbacks about if the Yankees signed Ryu. The biggest one is that it’s not Cole or Strasburg, but also since he’s older and another lefty.
He will be 33 in the spring, and the Yankees wouldn’t be able to spend big bucks on him and sign him for more than probably five years.
He would also be the third lefty starting pitcher on the team. James Paxton and Jordan Montgomery are also lefty, but Montgomery may move to the bullpen or be moved from the Yankees altogether. You don’t want to have too much of an unbalance of lefty or righty arms.
Overall, Hyun-Jin Ryu could be a nice fallback option, but won’t be a name that the team willy heavily pursue unless Cole and Strasburg fall off the market.