(AFP) – Nov 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers are the US team that won a bidding war to obtain the negotiating rights to top South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin, Major League Baseball announced on Saturday.
The announcement came after Hanwha Eagles said they had accepted a bid worth more than $25 million from a US club for rights to the left-handed hurler, although the Korean club declined to name which Major League team had won the auction.
"We've decided to accept the highest posting fee worth $25,737,737.33," the Eagles said on the team's official website.
"We believe this figure is acceptable for the rights to the top ace in South Korea."
The Dodgers now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Ryu through agent Scott Boras.
Ryu's posting fee is reportedly the third largest ever, following Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish's worth $51.7 million, his compatriot Daisuke Matsuzaka's, worth $51.1 million.
"I've made a step forward for a dream come true," Ryu was quoted as saying on the Eagles website.
"I will make every effort in order to ensure that my challenge will serve as a source of energy for the Korean people, especially for children."
Ryu, 25, is not a hard-thrower with a fastball of between the high 80-mph and the low-90 mph (128-144 kph) but he has a good command and an excellent changeup.
Ryu has spent his entire seven-year pro career in Korea, compiling a 98-52 record with a 2.80 earned run average.
He also helped South Korea to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by going 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in two starts.
"We are thrilled to have this exciting opportunity," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. "We have watched Ryu pitch for a long time and he is another option to consider as we look to improve our team in 2013 and beyond. We'd like to thank the Hanwha Eagles and we look forward to meeting Ryu and beginning the negotiation process very soon."
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