San Francisco Giants: Five starting pitchers to target in free agency
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
Suddenly, things just got a lot more expensive.
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year, $17.9 million deal after accepting a qualifying offer last winter, and he could see his annual salary climb north of $20 million thanks to a terrific 2019 season.
The 32-year-old is 12-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 161.2 innings in 26 starts. Those numbers are good enough to make him a legitimate NL Cy Young candidate, even with some recent struggles.
Zaidi is plenty familiar with Ryu from his time in the Dodgers front office. He would be a terrific replacement for Bumgarner as a left-handed veteran to slot atop a young starting rotation.
There are some reasons for pause, though.
He’s already 32 years old, so he’s exiting his prime, and while he’s been healthy this season he has a lengthy injury track record. Depending on how high his asking price climbs, the right move might be to let someone else pay or his stellar 2019 numbers.
Still, it’s always nice to simultaneously strengthen the Giants and weaken the Dodgers, and this move would accomplish that.