Ryu Hyun-jin’s return to Hanwha Scenario ‘Critical Variable’…Will Japan be a New Option
Ryu Hyun-jin’s future is still unknown. His four-year companionship with the Toronto Blue Jays is over. Ryu Hyun-jin, who became an FA once again. There is a lot of speculation about his future. After returning from elbow surgery, he showed off his robustness at the end of last season. Considering the aftereffects of surgery and his 37-year-old age, however, it was unlikely that he would make another “jackpot” in the Major League. Still, the hopeful thing was that his popularity as a left-hander has not completely cooled down. In the U.S., Ryu Hyun-jin is expected to be able to play for the next one to two years and sign a contract worth $10 million a year. Even if he signs a one-year contract, staying in the Big League, the highest stage, could be the best scenario for Ryu. However, the current situation is quite unusual recently. The New York Mets, who had been mentioned as a strong candidate for Ryu’s destination, signed a two-year contract worth 28 million U.S. dollars with left-hander Sean Munaia. It was exactly where Ryu would be. That position disappeared. And the Chicago Cubs, who were looking for a left-hander, also recruited Japanese pitcher Shota Imana. If there are fewer options in the U.S., Ryu Hyun-jin should also seriously consider the future. Still, what makes Ryu Hyun-jin happy is that his old team, the Hanwha Eagles, is preparing to greet him with open arms. Ryu Hyun-jin also continued to show his willingness to decorate the end of his career in Hanwha. There will certainly be regrets for individual players, but many see that now is the right time to return to Hanwha considering both age and ball power. In the meantime, another variable is showing signs of influence. It is Japanese professional baseball. According to baseball officials, NPB teams are paying keen attention to FA Ryu Hyun-jin’s move. It is not an impossible scenario. It is not as much as the Major League, but the Japanese professional baseball is also a high-quality league recognized by the world. In Japan, Ryu Hyun-jin, who is good at controlling and fighting numbers, is said to show his strength. In addition, Japan never ignores the Korean market. Currently, there is no card that can generate as much buzz as Ryu Hyun-jin amid the loss of Korean players’ reputation. On top of that, it is highly likely that the money will satisfy Ryu Hyun-jin. Since he is a star who commanded the Major League, he has to give him a generous treatment. You cannot beat the KBO league NPB in the money fight. There is a reason why foreign players who are good in Korea go to Japan. It could mean a lot to Ryu as well that he can experience both Korea, the U.S., and Japan. Senior president Park Chan-ho also played for the Orix Buffaloes for one year before joining the Hanwha Eagles in the 2012 season. At that time, Orix was enthusiastic about Korean marketing by recruiting Lee Seung-yeop along with Park Chan-ho. Park Chan-ho, who played bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the previous season, was shaken by Orix’s offer to start, and decided to go to Japan.