We Can Probably Kiss Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill Goodbye, Unfortunately

Ryu

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.

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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.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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33 thoughts on “We Can Probably Kiss Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill Goodbye, Unfortunately

  1. I respect both pitchers, and they definitely have put up decent numbers, but you have to be realistic. Both would be a big gamble, and would lock up two roster spots on the already pathetic pitching staff.

    Hill’s age and injury history are the biggest obstacle. He would not be worth the risk. Hill might be willing to take a pay cut, because he probably will not get anything in the F/A market. But, I would not waste a roster spot on him. They need healthy arms.

    Ryu also has a long injury history, and the biggest obstacle of all, Scott Boros. He will definitely cost dearly, and would it be worth the risk, and possibly end up Locked into an enormous, “Kershaw-esque”, long term deal… stuck with a pitcher that does not live up to his contract expectations.

    Both would be added to the huge ”Money Pit”, with Kershaw, Kelly, Jansen, and Pollock.

    It is the perfect time to cut the leashes on the kids, and let them run. Just like with the position players. Stop doubting them, and give them to opportunity to blossom into full fledged ballplayers. These guys played baseball all their lives, and just when they make the bigs, all of a sudden they are only worthy of pitching limited innings/pitches, or all of a sudden cannot hit lefties or righties? All these limitations imposed by management soon fester into career damaging, self-doubt.

    “Let the Kids Play!”

  2. Do you smell the essence of dumpster when you think of who Andy is targeting to replace Hill and Ryu?

    1. Hello True,
      Yep I sure do and most likely most others do as well. I am amazed evry night in watching the PS and now the WS how inferior of a team the Dodgers and their manager are compared to those 2 teams now in the WS.

      1. I’ll have to take your word for it, Paul. I haven’t watched one pitch, one highlight or anything about the WS, I have no interest in the least.

  3. You are dead right about Boras, and the Dodgers are not giving any pitcher 200 million. A four year deal at about 20 million a year would be about the limit I believe the owners would ok. But AF has just not spent that kind of money on anyone not named Kershaw. As for Hill, he is over it, the hill that is. His time in blue is over as it should be. I do not consider him a viable option anywhere on the roster. One free agent I would consider is fire balling Zack Wheeler. Won’t cost a ton, and is a pretty damn good starter in his own right.

  4. Astros lose again. If they lose this series to DC, is their loss worse than the Dodgers losing>? I think it would be. Best record in baseball, one of the best rotations in the game, solid hitting and fielding, and then losing to the wild card winner…..wow…..wonder if they will ask for Hinch’s head on a platter like Dodger fans want Daves.

    1. It’s not that Daisy loses, it the way he loses. Managers can make good moves and sometimes they just don’t work, Some managers make bad moves and they rarely work out. Daisy is in the latter catagory.

      1. Astros had the best record in Baseball, Dodgers 106 wins in weak NL West. Yankees and Twins 100+ wins. So, it turns out it does not mean squat.

        The post season is a whole different season. It is all momentum, drive, and heart. Only those who can bring their “A” game will succeed. The Nats’ players “believe” in themselves, and Management does not ”doubt” them…. Nats’ Management just lets them play… they are professionals.

        Still not watching, but just some comments:

        Kurt Suzuki….When Grandal left, I do not think Suzuki was even on the Dodger Radar. I immediately had thought that Suzuki would be a great, economical acquisition . Better than the high dollar receivers the Dodgers were considering.

        So glad the Nats got to the Astros two top arms, Cole and Verlander, in Houston!….. especially Verlander. Verlander has that same fatheaded arrogance that Kershaw has, thinking he is invincible, and can get the job done on his own.

        Howie Kendrick holding his own…. Who Knew?

        Meat of the Nats’ lineup continue to get productive hits when it counts. Unlike a team that we all know, and come to love….. actually, who is the meat of the lineup on the Dodgers? We do not know, with the elevator lineup that changes game to game.

        Harper, enjoy your money. Don’t lose any sleep after dissing your former Nats teammates and Fans for champagne and caviar…. Did all that money “really” change your life? You can’t take it with you.

        Follow the bouncing baseball….

        1. You do not win 106 games and not be a good team Paul. Have to disagree there buddy. They led the league in homers, pitching and a few other categories, their run differential was over 200. That’s pretty good. Some have said they won in a weak division, but the whole idea is to win the division, and in this season, they had more wins against the division than they have ever had before. And this was the first year in their 7 year run that they had winning records against all 4 teams. They have never done that before. In 2013 when they won, they only had 36 of their 90 wins against the west. Only team they had a winning record against that year was the Padres. The Dodgers this year had one hitter over .300, Bellinger. The only other season they won 50 games against the division was 2014, and that is the only year in the run where the division wins were more than half of their wins. They are built to win the division. Mid season moves are supposed to strengthen the team you have. This year, the rookies were the strength. They got 45 of their 279 dingers from the kids. They had a series against the Rockies where they had 3 walk offs in a row, all on hits by the kids. Smith had 2 walk off homers himself, and I was there for the first one. They were heads and tails the best team in the NL, in the regular season. They had a winning record against the Nats. Roberts made bone head decisions that cost them the win. And the stars came up short in the series. You are going to have a real hard time winning when the meat of your lineup does not produce.

          1. Michael, as ya said they they had more wins against their pther NL West teams but also wins against other sub par teams as well. I am saying that especially this year’s PS performance was lacking and IMHO showed me that against the better teams with elite pitching, they were no match WHEN IT COUNTED THE MOST. I agree on Roberts his managing decisions and lineup shuffling on a daily basis got the Dodgers by in the regular season but I knew it would not play itself out in October. They may be a good team in winning 106 games but does it really matter now? I can honestly say that when October came around this year that they were NOT as good a team compared to who are playing in this year’s WS and even in the playoffs that preceded the WS , otherwise we may still be playing. But even though the players failed to show up again in October, Roberts and his DUMB IRRESPONSIBLE MOVES was the biggest issue as I saw it. and as some have said in the media along with other fans, nobody cares about the 106 wins in the regular season when they were a failure to get those 11 wins in October. Most won’t remember those 106 wins but will recall how they were a failure in October to win that ring.

  5. I love baseball.

    This is why making the World Series matters. Because Kurt Suzuki or because the Astros start falling apart. Or because the Astros ill-concieved signing of Osuna becomes a distraction.

    Go Nats! They are fun.

  6. “Meat of the Nats’ lineup continue to get productive hits when it counts. Unlike a team that we all know, and come to love….. actually, who is the meat of the lineup on the Dodgers? We do not know, with the elevator lineup that changes game to game.” What Bluefan says above here says it all and is one of the many reasons why Dodgers are sitting at home instead of still playing in the PS and WS.
    Well stated Bluefan!

  7. Lombard interviewed for the Pirates managers job. Coaches are interchangeable, so if he got it, no big loss. Gurnick seems to think it will be business as usual during this off season, which means no major free agent signings, mostly second tier kinds of players added to the roster, Cole, Rendon, Ryu, likely to sign elsewhere, simply because the Dodgers are not giving a 200 mil plus contract to anyone.

    1. Agree Michael,

      No major F/A signings. If they do, that would shock me. Dodgers struck out too many times in the market already. I too, would be a little gun shy.

      I would feel better if they got a front line starter to replace Ryu, but like all free agents now days, way too expensive, and not worth the gamble. Dodgers just have way too much money tied up with mediocre, so-so players, and lots of potential big pay raises to deal with, with upcoming arbitration. I don’t know why, but that is just the way the baseball bounces these days. No rationality, no accountability.

      Second rate players only. Maybe just above the “Dumpster Level”…. like “Bluelight Specials” or “Clearance Items”.

      Dodgers are in a very unstable position, to make any substantial changes. Money is not the issue. It is there. It is just that they are too cheap to bring a winner to Dodger Stadium. Also, many quality players would not want to come to the Dodgers and become a one dimensional, platooning puzzle piece.

      “Is, what it Is”, unfortunately.

      1. You said it best right here, Bluefan!
        “Also, many quality players would not want to come to the Dodgers and become a one dimensional, platooning puzzle piece.”

        “Is, what it Is”, unfortunately.

    2. Agree about what takes place this off season, Michael. The Dodgers will be no better in 2020 because
      1. Roberts is coming back, His bone head decision making and mis management of the pitching will go on
      2. The lineup will still be too LH heavy with no real impact RH bats to think of. FO will make no major deals or impact FA signings.
      3. As a result of #2 the platooning and lineup shuffling on a daily basis will continue no matter what
      4. Most players will be asked to play different positions daily depending upon those ‘match ups’
      5. Where they bat in the order will be different daily for some
      6. A question here…is there anyone here who is glad that Roberts will again be back in 2020 in the first place?

      1. Here is not the only place that displeasure with Roberts being retained is being voiced. Both Roberts and Friedman were surprised and stated such, that the fans were so against Roberts coming back. As for the way he does things, well, that is the Dodger way now, and you are right about them being lefty heavy. The only way they bring in a RH power bat is if they trade for it. Bryant has been mentioned a lot. That would serve the same purpose as Rendon. It would move Turner to 1st. As fans, we all get very frustrated at the rotating lineups, and constant juggling of players. But on a team level, they all have bought into it. I just hope, more than I hope for some offense, that they finally address the short comings in the pitching staff, both the bullpen and the rotation. But I think I am pissin in the wind on this one.

        1. Again, just way too much emphasis on matchups. Righty or Lefty really means nothing, unless you continue to believe it. The way I see it, a good hitter, a professional ballplayer, “should” be able to hit either pitcher. 98 MPH fastballs, who cares which side of the rubber it comes from. Sliders, Backdoor sliders, cutters, balls are hitting all quadrants. A major league ballplayer should be able to “See the ball and hit it”. What do they say when they are hot? They say, “I am seeing the ball well, and able to barrel it up!”. Over-emphasis by management on Lefty and/or Righty lineups, only leads to inconsistencies in stats, and a player’s self doubt. Even the Dodgers had lefties that played every day, and had had just as much trouble hitting righties or lefties, yet they had others whom they just flat out refused to believe, could hit lefties. A player can never improve on their stats, if they do not get a chance to improve them. Dodger management will never admit that their lefty/righty lineup strategy does not work.

          Do you really think that the Dodgers would pick up an expensive right handed power hitting F/A, and not play him every day, against righties and lefties? I don’t think so. Maybe so, on a second or third tier player, but not a first tier player.

          So, we all know what direction this team is going next season.

          Ho hum….

          1. When Duke Snider came to the Dodgers, he was a pretty wild swinger and really had no knowledge of the strike zone. Before the 1949 season during spring training, they took Duke and made him watch pitches without swinging a bat and call out what he thought they were. That year he improved a lot, hit .292 with 23 homers and 92 ribbies. He struck out 92 times in 552 at bats. Less than 20% of the time. Duke got better every year, and in 1953 he became the player they knew they had when they signed him. For the next 5 years, he hit 40 or more HR’s. The only Dodger in Dodger history to do that. Snider only struck out over 100 times twice in his career. 56 & 57, and even then it was still less than 20% of the time. Duke was not a great hitter against lefty’s, .257 with only 33 of his 407 homers. There were a lot more RHP back then, but he did face guys like Spahn. But it shows, that you can change a players thought process and make him a better hitter.

          2. Right on! Bluefan. As ya state, that over emphasis on L-R-L-R match ups is main cause for inconsistencies. I do have a suggestion for Joc however. Management, being convinced he won’t or can’t hit lefties might tell him to do what Bellinger did in this past off season and spend that time working on his ability to compete against LHP so he would not have to be platooned. On the other hand Joc may be satisfied with his role or may feel that he has been labeled and won’t get to play against lefties anyway.

        2. Actually I agree with ya on addressing the starting and relief pitching because we know that pitching wins championships. On a team level, since we are not in the clubhouse we cannot say with certainty that they ‘buy in’ on what ya said about lineup shuffling, perhaps believing otherwise in private. Whatever the case here, this strategy with the Dodger’s way of doing things does not work in the PS and or WS and we have already seen examples of that.

          1. Well Paul, with the way social media is now, with all the access to the clubhouse and such, if there was some dissension there, I think it would show up. Even the vets seem to be ok with it. There were only 4 guys who were in there almost every day, Bellinger, Muncy, Seager and Turner. Everyone else was interchangeable. Remember how big a stink there was a few years ago when Kemp bitched so much about moving to left when DM was the skipper. Some good things for next year, Verdugo will be back. Seager will be close to 2 years removed from his surgery’s, and even with as good a year as he had, Bellinger should have learned he needs to have the same approach after the all star game as he had before it. He was definitely not the same hitter after. And, the rookies will know what it was like to be in a pennant race.

  8. You are absolutely right, Michael.

    I do not know what these Dodger batting coaches are doing, but there are definitely ways to improve on a batter’s ability to see the ball, and see it’s rotation. Yours is a prime example. They will never improve, by just hitting against a 70 MPH batting practice pitchers. And they will absolutely never improve if you totally give up on a ballplayer, and resign to your beliefs that a hitter cannot do it. Instead of trying to improve, Dodger players tend to just accept it, and give up, because management has already made up their minds. Nothing these players do, will make any difference.

  9. Astros tie the series at 2. All the games have been won by the road team. Scherzer going for the Nats tomorrow. Here, we are about to get the 3rd snowfall of the year already. It did not snow last year until almost December. Guess it is time to break out my long johns!

  10. Michael, all well with what ya are saying except one minor detail… Roberts will be back and the shuffling may continue and lead to the hitter’s inconsistencies and a result in self doubt as Bluefan pointed out.

    1. I would bet, barring something really bad happening, that Roberts will be the manager until his contract is done at least. As long as the team is competitive, and Friedman is in charge, Dave will be here. Even hitters who play everyday are subject to slumps. Prime example if Bellinger. Pollock and Seager both were red hot going into the playoffs, and wham, neither did anything in the playoffs and Bellinger the same. This is Dodger baseball. Ger used to it. Breaking news, Scherzer scratched from his start tonight Nats will use Ross instead. Advantage Astros.

      1. Roberts however has to know that most fans have turned on him, and one of the reasons is that a team winning 106 games has no business been mis managed right out of this year’s PS. he must know that he won’t necessarily receive a ‘warm’ greeting come next ST.

        1. Roberts and Friedman both expressed surprise at the back lash from fans. I do not think either are especially well versed on the fans feelings. The entire season went down the drain in the span of 2 innings, both set up by poor decisions from Roberts. I was reading about the hiring of Bloom in Boston, he is a Friedman clone in my eyes. Coming from the Rays to the big budget Sox. And a line in the story, it is on MLBrumors.com, struck me. Efficiently running a high payroll team with monetary returns. In other words, managing a high payroll and reaping investment money back. Friedman is under a directive to stay under the Luxury tax. We all know this, it has been highly publicized. Anyone who thinks he is going to change that modus operandi is just dreaming. This team when you get down to brass tacks is built to get to the post season. That is their goal, not championships. They have built a team that can win the west. Any rung on the ladder they climb afterwards is just gravy in the coffers of ownership. Tweaking at mid season has always been the way to improve the team. I have seen it work, and I have seen it fail. So if you are thinking top tier free agents, re-think that and go second or even third tier. And for sure, a bunch of free agent low budget signings that they hope will pan out.

  11. Verducci does not believe the Dodgers will go after any high priced free agent. Friedman now not sure he is going to hire a GM. Rothschild out at pitching coach of the Yanks, and Huntington fired by the Bucs.

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