You didn't think the Los Angeles Dodgers were done spending after they locked Zack Greinke up on a six-year, $147 million deal on Saturday night, did you? I hope not, because even though there were reports saying they were "far apart" in negotiations with Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu as recently as Sunday morning, they were able to work out a six-year, $36 million contract just ahead of the afternoon deadline to sign him.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, Ryu can opt out of the contract after five years, and can also earn up to $1 million per season in bonuses if he reaches a set amount of innings. That could ultimately push the deal up to $42 million, and that's not counting the $25.7 million Los Angeles spent on Ryu's posting fee in November to earn the right to a 30-day negotiating window.
Those are the financials, as if they matter to general manager Ned Colletti and the rest of the Dodgers brass. Obviously spending money is no longer an issue for them, and thanks to that new found freedom, starting pitching depth will also no longer be an issue. Heading into 2012, their rotation was basically Clayton Kershaw and a bunch question marks that were duct taped together. Now that rotation boasts a plethora of options with Kershaw, Greinke and Josh Beckett locked into positions.
Also under contract are healthy veterans Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, along with Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly, who both will be coming off injuries in 2012. Needless to say, the Dodgers have options, including flexibility to move a couple pieces around to fill other needs, or even to place Ryu in the bullpen initially to help ease his transition to MLB.
And who knows, maybe they'll still make a play for Anibal Sanchez or R.A. Dickey just because they can.
As for new man himself, Ryu Hyun-jin, if you're not familiar, he's a 25-year-old left-hander who spent seven seasons playing in the Korean Baseball Organization. During that time, he posted a 2.80 ERA and 1,238 strikeouts over 1,269 innings, which is mighty impressive.
If you're not big on numbers, though, here's some visual evidence for you to enjoy:
Yeah, he's a good one.
Also, the Dodgers are going to be darn tough to contend with for many, many years to come.
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