With February heading into the middle of the year, the Major League Spring Camp is just around the corner. In the midst of this, “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin, who has yet to find a new destination, has connected with the New York Yankees.꽁머니환전
“Inside the Finstreife,” which mainly reports on the New York Yankees in the U.S. “Sports Illustrated,” mentioned Ryu Hyun-jin’s name on the 9th (Korea time), saying, “We can recruit a former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher to improve the Yankees’ starting rotation.”
Ryu Hyun-jin was placed on the Tommy John surgery table for the second time during the 2022 season. It was a major surgery that required more than a year of rehabilitation for the mid and late 30 games. However, Ryu returned to the mound in great health as he already had one Tommy John surgery. First of all, Ryu Hyun-jin had four rehabilitation appearances in the minor leagues, raising expectations by posting two wins and no losses with a 2.00 ERA, and finally made it to the big leagues in August.
Ryu Hyun-jin left a disappointment with four runs (four earned) in five innings in his return, but he saved four perfect innings in his second appearance of the season, and then went on a roll with both wins against the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. It was also encouraging to prove that he could still work on the major league stage with a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA during the month of August, but the most positive factor was that he never suffered from pain after undergoing major surgery.
Ryu continued to show good performance. Even after the season began in September, Ryu pitched five innings of two runs against the Colorado Rockies and the Oakland Athletics, respectively, and six innings of pitching against the Texas Rangers, which won its first World Series trophy last year, for the first time since his return to the big league, to post quality starts (three earned runs or less in six innings). Ryu pitched poorly against the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays afterwards, but achieved a 3-3 record and 3.46 ERA, qualifying as a free agent.
Initially, after Ryu became eligible for the free agent, some speculated that Ryu, who is in his late 30s, might return to the Hanwha Eagles, the most affectionate team in the KBO League. The reason is that Ryu expressed his intention to end his career with the Hanwha Eagles when he moved to the big league. When he returned to Korea last year, he promised to return to the Hanwha Eagles. Still, Ryu has made staying in the big league a top priority. Unless he fails to find a destination that he likes, chances are high he will see Ryu in the Major League again this year.
Immediately after the Stove League began, Ryu’s name was rarely mentioned in the U.S. local media. However, after Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and San Francisco Giants pitcher Lee Jung-hoo all decided on their destination, their names started to be mentioned little by little. Notably, the final destination has not been decided, but there was specific news that the New York Mets are interested in Ryu. However, with the start of the Major League spring camp approaching, Ryu has yet to decide on his next destination.
In the midst of this, Ryu once again connected with the Yankees. “Inside the Finstreaves” of the U.S. Sports Illustrated mentioned Ryu’s name on the 9th, saying that the Yankees can add former Toronto Blue Jays starters to improve their starting rotation. The Yankees strengthened their starting lineup by signing a contract with Marcus Stroman this winter, but they still need starting pitchers. Except for Ace Garrett Cole and Stroman, they do not have enough resources to take the mound as starters.
“The Yankees’ biggest hole last season was in the outfield and starting rotation. The Yankees strengthened their outfield presence by bringing in Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Trent Grisham, and they also resolved their rotation issues by signing Marcus Stroman as an FA. However, the Yankees can sign another pitcher. While the Yankees are linked with Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell, they have a very solid intermediate option that could lead to an upturn,” he explained. That’s Ryu Hyun-jin.
“It doesn’t cost a lot of money, but one of the players who can go a long way to help the Yankees is Ryu Hyun-jin of the former Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays,” the media said. “Ryu Hyun-jin is looking for his next destination as an FA.” He played in only 11 games last year, but he recorded a 3.46 ERA and a solid 38-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ryu was selected as an All-Star and has an ERA of 3.27 over 10 seasons. Ryu is not flashy, but he was very trustworthy when he stood on the mound.”
Considering the contracts signed this winter by players of similar age and career to Ryu Hyun-jin, Ryu is certainly not a burden. “Ryu Hyun-jin is 36 years old, and it won’t cost much,” said “If the Yankees want to strengthen their rotation, why don’t you try former All-Star pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin?”
With the start of the spring camp approaching, it is time for Ryu to decide his destination. What kind of uniform will Ryu wear and play the 2024 season.