After a successful return from Tommy John Surgery (TJS), Ryu Hyun-jin is being touted as a potentially successful free agent next season.
MLB.com mentioned Ryu for the fifth time in an article titled “7 Free Agents to Watch, Coming Back After Injury-Filled Years” on July 25 (ET).
The article’s author, Thomas Harrigan, wrote, “Ryu’s comeback pitching after receiving TJS can only be characterized as a success. In the final season of his four-year, $80 million contract, he has pitched 52 innings in 11 games this year with a 3.46 ERA.” “His trademark command is fully functional. His edge rate is tied for fourth among pitchers with more than 750 pitches thrown. Given that he’s been effective without relying on his overpowering pitches, there’s a good chance he’ll be just as successful next year when he turns 37.토토사이트
The edge rate is the percentage of pitches that are tucked into the one-wide zone along the border of the strike zone, which means Ryu throws nearly half of his pitches there. In other words, he’s back to his “Vintage Ryu” self, with perfect pitches and command.
Ryu made his comeback start on August 2 against the Baltimore Orioles. In five innings, he gave up four runs on nine hits. He only threw 80 pitches. On Aug. 8, he pitched a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians, allowing no hits and no runs in four innings before being removed after being hit by a hard hit ball.
From Aug. 14 against the Chicago Cubs to Sept. 13 against the Texas Rangers, he pitched five or more innings in six consecutive games, making him a perfect fit for Toronto’s starting spot in the playoffs. On Sept. 18, he threw 4⅔ innings of six-hit ball against the Boston Red Sox.
After pitching well, Ryu did not make the roster for the Wild Card Series after giving up seven runs on 14 hits and three walks in a combined 7⅓ innings in the final two games of the season. Local media outlets have taken a look at Ryu’s two-month journey since his return, noting his health and command.
ESPN ranked Ryu 40th in its free agent rankings, calling him “a very good candidate for a one-year deal. Despite averaging 88.6 mph, I’ve heard he could get multi-year interest, but it’s not easy to find a fifth starter who isn’t utilized in the playoffs,” predicting a two-year, $14 million deal. That’s a positive assessment.
Ryu’s average velocity hasn’t regained its pre-TJS levels. His top velocity was only 91.1 mph, and only 43 of his 830 pitches were over 90 mph, or 5.2%. However, it’s still possible for his velocity to improve given that it’s so soon after TJS.
It’s not unreasonable to expect a 1-1.5 mph increase, especially if he gets some work in spring training this winter and early next year. Just getting back to the 89.9 mph he had in the 2021 season before his arm injury would be a huge accomplishment.
Ryu and agent Scott Boras at his Toronto Blue Jays signing ceremony four years ago. AP
There are five or six teams that would be interested in Ryu. “There are teams that have shown a lot of interest in him,” said agent Scott Boras. Some teams are looking for more than one starting pitcher,” he said, adding that he is confident of a satisfactory contract.
The Athletic reported that Ryu is expected to sign a one-year, $11 million deal with incentives. MLB Network reporter John Heyman predicted “$12 million a year. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the market is priced at $10 million per year or more.
In addition to Ryu, the other free agents mentioned in the article are outfielder Michael Brantley, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, starting pitcher Frankie Montas, catcher Tom Murphy, infielder Gio Aschella, and first baseman Joey Votto.