Blue Jays Rumors: Hyun-Jin Ryu Among Toronto's Free-Agent Targets

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Washington Nationals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays "are among teams" in the hunt for free-agent starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

The Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III reported Monday the Minnesota Twins were looking at a group of veteran pitchers that included Zack Wheeler (who agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, per Mike Puma of the New York Post), Madison Bumgarner and Ryu.

The 32-year-old left-hander finished second in National League Cy Young voting after finishing 14-5 with an MLB-best 2.32 ERA in 29 appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Blue Jays have an obvious need for starting pitching. Their starters finished 23rd in FIP (4.90), per FanGraphs, and they traded longtime ace Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets in July.

Ryu is a somewhat surprising target, though, when considering his age and the fact that Toronto lost 95 games in 2019. Coming out of the trade deadline, general manager Ross Atkins emphasized the franchise's long-term outlook rather than focusing on the present.

However, Atkins told reporters Wednesday the Jays have the ability to land a notable free agent and spend up to $100 million this offseason.

Perhaps ownership would view signing Ryu as a show of intent to demonstrate it's ready to begin investing in the team again.

In the event Toronto remained on the outside of the American League playoff picture over the next few years, Ryu would have obvious value as a trade asset assuming he can continue the success he enjoyed last season.

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