Blue Jays: Does Hyun-Jin Ryu even want to sign in Toronto?

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Hyun-Jin Ryu remains a free agent, and it sounds like the Blue Jays have made a competitive offer. Does the Korean southpaw consider Toronto a legitimate option?

The Blue Jays’ front office has done a fair bit of work improving the starting rotation this off-season, but they shouldn’t be satisfied with where things stand today.

A rotation of Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Matt Shoemaker. and two of Shun Yamaguchi, Trent Thornton, Ryan Borucki, and Anthony Kay should certainly be an improvement over last year’s group, but in order to really move the needle for the long and short-term, the Blue Jays could really use a front of the rotation starting pitcher.

We’ve heard about it all off-season, and yet the situation remains the same. The one change is that the free agent market is basically down to one option, especially after Dallas Keuchel signed with the Chicago White Sox yesterday. At this point it’s sign Hyun-Jin Ryu or strike out on the free agent market, and thankfully it sounds like the Blue Jays are making a serious effort to get the left-hander under contract.

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That said, and I hate asking this question out loud, but does Ryu even want to sign in Toronto?

I wonder, because from the way things are sounding, Ryu’s suitor list is getting shorter, and reports indicate that the Blue Jays have made a competitive offer, which was confirmed by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman yesterday. We don’t know the terms of their offer, but it’s clear that Ryu is waiting on something more. Or perhaps, someone else.

Because he’s represented by Scott Boras, it was never going to be easy for the Blue Jays to get Ryu under contract. Money talks for sure, but Boras hasn’t been a fan of the way things have been done in Toronto over the last few years, coining the term “blue flu” last winter when he couldn’t get Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro to make the kind of offers he was hoping to secure for his clients.

It sounds like Boras’ attitude has shifted about the Blue Jays a bit, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he was using them as leverage to get what his client really wants. Ryu has indicated in interviews that he doesn’t have a West Coast bias, which helps the Blue Jays’ cause when they’re likely battling the Dodgers and Angels for his services, but that might not be the only factor at play here. Ryu has spent his entire six-year MLB career with the Dodgers, and they’ve won the NL West in every season. Not only would he be moving on from that type of immediate opportunity to win, he’d also be joining the vaunted AL East.

dark. Next. Offers made to Ryu and Encarnacion

Hopefully we’ll get a window into the offer the Blue Jays made Ryu whether he accepts it or not, as it’ll be interesting for a few reasons. One, are the Blue Jays really making a serious effort to move the needle with their starting rotation? And secondly, is Ryu considering them as a legitimate option? We should know the answer to those questions, sooner than later.

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