The Dodgers are not in the World Series as you can tell. World Series clubs need great pitching in order to make it to the Fall Classic and unsurprisingly the Dodgers did not have great pitching in 2019. Two men who were not part of that problem were southpaws Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill. Those two veteran starters are impending free agents. With Ryu up for Cy Young consideration and reportedly searching for a contract in the 200 million dollars range. The question remains if the Dodgers are going to resign one, both or neither.
No matter Ryu’s increasing age (32 years old) and injury history, he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last two years and the Dodgers should absolutely sign him. Ryu, a holdover from the Ned Colletti administration won the National League ERA title in 2019.
The Dodgers offered Ryu a 17.9 million dollar qualifying offer during last winter and he accepted it. Probably because he just likes pitching for the Dodgers. Perhaps because he is also looking for a huge pay-day this offseason. He deserves it after he posted a National League best 2.32 ERA and 14-5 record over 182.2 innings pitched. Ryu struck out 8.0 per nine and allowed just 1.2 BB/9 while posting a nearly 7-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Ryu tallied 163 strikeouts and walked only 24 and made 29 starts. The year before in 2018, he posted a 1.97 ERA in 82.1 frames. The problem is that Ryu is a Scott Boras client and you know how that goes. And we all know how cheap Andrew Friedman is.
Losing Rich Hill would be just as sad. However given his age (39 years old) and injury problems you could certainly understand. Hill acquired at the trade deadline back in 2016 has always been a good pitcher and solid postseason performer for the Dodgers. Actually we all remember if Dave Roberts had just not brain farted and not removed Hill from game 4 of the 2018 World Series last season then the Dodgers would have undoubtedly won the game and tied the series. I digress.
While Hill was injured for most of the 2019 season (battling elbow and knee problems) he still gave the Dodgers quality innings. Hill posted a 2.45 ERA and 4-1 record this season while striking out 11.0 per nine across 58.2 innings pitched. Hills struck out 72 and walked just 18 while allowing just 7.4 hits per nine. The veteran known as “the bishop” tried to make a valiant comeback for the NLDS against Washington, but was not the same pitcher. Injuries and age have definitely slowed him down, but if he is healthy he is a fierce competitor.
It would be nice if the Dodgers could at least bring back one of these two pitchers, or both. However as you all know Andrew Friedman runs the Dodgers and he is how shall I put this…..cheap. Yes he’s cheap, and small market minded so you can probably kiss both of these guys goodbye. What a shame. Hey, prove me wrong Friedman.