NASHVILLE – The Dodgers offered a long-term contract to South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin on Tuesday that was promptly rejected, General Manager Ned Colletti said.
“Predictably, it fell a tad short,” Colletti said.
Colletti said he didn’t know how the Dodgers would proceed in the negotiations.
[Updated at 5:35 p.m.: Ryu's agent, Scott Boras, said he presented the Dodgers with a counteroffer. "We exchanged offers, and negotiations continue," Boras said.]
Boras, said his client should be compensated like a major league No. 3 starter. So, presumably, he’s looking for something in the $50-million range. [Updated at 9:45 p.m.: This estimate was high, according to a person familiar with the discussions.]
If Ryu doesn’t sign with the Dodgers, he would return to his South Korean team, the Hanwha Eagles. He wouldn’t be eligible to be posted in the major leagues again until next season.
Boras dismissed the notion that Ryu had no leverage in these talks, saying the left-hander could pitch in Japan next season. If Ryu signs a one-year deal with a Japanese team, he would become an unrestricted free agent next winter and wouldn’t be subject to the posting system.
But the idea of Ryu moving to Japan appears far fetched.
It’s uncertain exactly how such a move would be made. A South Korean player has never moved to Japan before becoming a free agent. Ryu is under the Eagles’ control for two more seasons.
Here’s something to consider: If Ryu signs with the Dodgers, they would pay the Eagles the $25.7-million fee they bid to win the exclusive rights to negotiate with him. If the Dodgers don’t sign Ryu, they would owe the Eagles nothing.
There is no posting system between the Japanese and South Korean leagues. Theoretically, a Japanese team interested in Ryu could pay the Eagles for his rights. But it’s doubtful a Japanese club would pay anything close to $25.7 million if Ryu only wants a one-year contract. In that case, the Eagles would probably hold on to Ryu for another season and post him again next year.
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