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Korean All-star pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has successfully landed the Major League Baseball (MLB), signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in a dramatic transaction just before the league-mandated deadline, according to MLB’s official Web site on Sunday.
MLB.com said Ryu has made a contract with the Dogers for a six-year deal worth $36 million. CBSSports.com also reported that Ryu will have a signing bonus of $5 million.
A 30-day window to sign a deal were given to Ryu and Dodgers after the LA-based club secured the exclusive rights to negotiate with Ryu in November, and the deadline was 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time Sunday. The Dodgers submitted a bid of $25.7 million in a league-wide silent auction, which was the fourth highest bid by a major league club for a foreign player.
As Ryu’s South Korean club, the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), accepted the Dodgers’ bid, the negotiation period started. The Korean club will take the $25.7 million bid as a transfer fee for Ryu.
The Eagles posted Ryu in November after he completed his seventh KBO season in 2012. Ryu will become the first South Korean baseball player to jump directly from the KBO to the majors when he is added to the major league roster.
This is not the first time for the Dodgers take in a South Korean player. Right-hander Park Chan-ho, who became the first Korean to play in the majors in 1994, used to play for the LA-based club.
Ryu, who was born in 1987, made his debut in 2006, becoming the first player to win both the Rookie of the Year honors and the MVP in the same season. He was 18-6 with a 2.23 ERA and a rookie-record 204 strikeouts. Since then, Ryu has been one of the KBO’s most dominant starters.
In his seven KBO seasons, Ryu went 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA and 1,238 strikeouts in 1,269 innings.
The lefty pitcher, who is 187 centimeters (about 6.1 ft) tall and 98 kilograms (about 217 lb), can reach up to 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour) with his fastball, and can also throw a changeup and slider as his out pitches.
Ryu drew international attention when he participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, helping to secure gold for South Korea, and the 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC) which South Korea finished runner-up behind Japan. However, it is expected that Ryu would miss the 2013 WBC in March next year as he takes part in the upcoming Dodgers’ spring training and tries to get ready for his first season in the United States.
Image Courtesy : Los Angeles Dodgers