6. Hyun Jin Ryu
Hyun Jin Ryu has definitely been a key part of the Jays’ starting rotation during this final stretch of the season in their pursuit of the playoffs. After returning from Tommy John surgery at the beginning of August, Ryu has provided the Jays with value starts in his ten games to date, keeping them in the ballgame almost every time out. This was already beyond expectations as after all, he had been out for over a year’s time, so any sort of quality pitching like this was definitely an added bonus.
To date, Ryu has posted a 3-3 record with a solid 3.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, along with 14 walks and 37 punchouts in 49 innings pitched. In doing so, he seems to be giving off some vibes that resembled his Cy Young-calibre type years he had back in 2019 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in 2020 when he joined the Jays in the first year of his four-year contract.
At age 36 already, Ryu will most likely be heading towards a decline in the upcoming years. Despite his impressive showing in the past few weeks for the Jays, it is hard to forget about his disappointing years in the middle part of his contract with the ballclub, along with the devastating injury that put him out for a year last season. If he intends to just re-sign for a one-year deal with incentives, there is a slight chance he could be back. But most likely he will like to have job security right into his retirement years, so he will likely be asking for a multi-year contract as a result. So after seeing what the Jays went through with him the past couple years prior, it is certainly a gamble that’s not worth taking.
Verdict: Highly unlikely he re-signs.