Toronto Blue Jays sign Ryu Hyun-jin on 4-year US$ 80 million contract
Updated: 2019-12-24 10:16:14 KST
Christmas came a few days early for 'Korean Monster' Ryu Hyun-jin.
On Monday, the lefty signed a monster deal to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays for the next four years.
The deal gives Ryu 80 million U.S. dollars over four years, for an annual salary of 20 million dollars.
Since there's no opt-out clause in the contract, the full 80 million dollars is virtually fully guaranteed.
Having joined the LA Dodgers in 2013 on a 6-year, 36 million dollar contract, Ryu's salary has more than tripled.
His 20 million dollar annual salary makes him the 41st highest-paid player for the upcoming 2020 season, and the 15th highest-paid pitcher in the Majors.
It also makes Ryu the 4th highest paid among Asian players in the Majors, behind New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka at 23 million, Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs at 22 million and fellow South Korean Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers at 21 million.
Ryu's four year deal with the Blue Jays also makes him the highest-paid South Korean pitcher of all time, as he shatters the 5-year 65 million dollar deal Park Chan-ho signed in 2002 to play for the Texas Rangers.
However, the hefty paycheck comes the burden of living up to the hype.
Ryu will have to pitch in a much more hitter friendlier league, and compete against the American League East.
The AL East has long been one of the toughest divisions in the Majors, as the Blue Jays compete against teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, as well as the scrappy Tampa Bay Rays.
While it may take some time to adjust to his new surroundings, for the time being, Ryu has 80 million reasons to smile this Christmas.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.