The Chicago Cubs’ interest in Korean lefty Hyun-jin Ryu, who is entering the posting process, appears to be sincere.

According to a report from Arirang News in Korea, the Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers, and Indians “have shown concrete interest” in Ryu, and have requested, or have already received, official statistical information on the pitcher from┬áSports2i, the Korea Baseball Organization official data provider. If you wanted an initial short list on the interested teams, there you have them.

Ryu, 25, is one of the best pitchers in Korea, and has been since he was a teenager. He’s not a blazer, sitting in the high 80s/low 90s, at best. But, as an effective lefty in his mid-20s, he always made sense as a prime target for the Cubs. His price tag is pretty hard to figure, when you consider that he hasn’t competed in MLB (though he’s got some WBC experience against MLB-caliber players), and that the posting process leads to a one-team negotiation.

Also hard to figure: whether Ryu is viewed by the Cubs as a rotational lock (a guy they’re pursuing as “one” of the two pitchers they need to add to the rotation this offseason), or whether he’s simply a young-ish, talented arm they’d like to add. Once they get him, work him out in the Spring, they can decide whether he can stick in the rotation. Some scouts think, long-term, Ryu is more of a long reliever than a consistent starter.

We still don’t have a definitive time line for Ryu’s posting. Some reports say that he “has been posted,” while others indicate he and his agent are still waiting for MLB to officially reveal to teams that he’s available for bidding. I suspect that, because teams are still in the process of receiving information from his team, his posting period has not officially begun. Once it does, teams will have a certain period of time in which to submitted sealed bids for the right to negotiate a contract with Ryu. Hanwha will select the highest bid, and that MLB team will have another certain period of time in which to negotiate a contract with Ryu. If they come to an agreement, Hanwha gets to keep the posting bid. If no contract is reached, the MLB team gets its posting bid money back.

The Arirang report also notes that Ryu is represented by Scott Boras, which suggests Ryu is pretty serious about securing an MLB contract at the end of this process.

Note: Because Ryu has been playing professional ball in Korea for more than four years, his signing is not subject to the new international free agent signing limitations regarding amateur players. Once a team wins the post for him, that team can offer him as much as they’d like, without any future signing restriction implications.

  • MightyBear

    How does this work? Is it like the posting for Darvish or is it subject to the inernational signing rules?

    • SFCCubbie_Fan

      That is my questions as well, and iff it is along the lines of theinternational signing rules will the Cubs be willing to make that commitment.

    • terencemann

      Since he’s not an amateur, it should just be a blind posting like Darvish.

      • Brett

        That’s correct. I added a note at the end to make that explicit.

        • Stevie B

          That is Brett’s way of saying: I answered that earlier !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • MightyBear

          Oh sorry, I didn’t see that. My bad.

          • Brett

            No problem – the note was added after your question.

            (I think Steve means it’s been addressed on the site before, which it has, but I don’t expect you to read and recall every single word ever uttered on the site … or do I? Will there be a test!?)

            • Stevie B

              Hahahaha. Explicit. BAM!

              We’re all adults..right?

  • cubchymyst

    I am starting to expect the cubs name to be tied to every pitcher except Grienke and Loshe, The need to add 2 pitchers, likely means they will kick the tires on everyone (which as a good FO they should do). What are the chances that 1 of the pitchers added is a name through a trade that no one has mentioned yet?

  • P hertz

    He’s a LOOGY in MLB…already had a TJ and has bad mechanics. Meh fastball, Plus change, meh curve.

    • Luke

      The breaking pitches I’ve seen in the videos floating around are better than just meh. I think he has the stuff to succeed as a back of the rotation starter, if he has the durability. And if his fastball is good enough to let him take advantage of his secondary stuff. I’ve not seen a lot of movement on it, and that concerns me more than anything.

      I still hope the Cubs can land him, though, provided the cost isn’t too ridiculously high.

    • David

      I watched a couple of videos of him. Fastball in the one was consistently 91-92, and in this one the curve looked better than “meh” to me, although I’m by no means a scout.

  • Kyle

    It’s a Darvish-style blind posting, but likely for an order of magnitude smaller amount.

    The concerns that he might not even be able to stick as a starter and has had arm problems concern me. Though our pen is short on quality lefties…

  • Luke

    I really, really do not like the single blind bid posting system.

    • Brett

      And that’s the reason they love it. Bidding against yourself, potentially.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Is there any chance that, once they see the bids, go back to the teams and ask for one last bid? If I remember correctly it was rumored that it was going to be that way with one of the postings last off-season.

        • Kyle

          I don’t believe that is allowed. I’m not entirely sure that the Korean posting process is identical to the Japanese process, but I’m thinking it is.

          The posting team is only informed of the total of the winning bid, not the identity of the team or the other bids. They must either accept or reject. If they reject, the player’s posting is done for the year and they retain his rights.

  • Brian

    I would like to see this one get done.

  • Tim

    If the Cubs scouts are ones who see him as a long reliever rather than a full time starter, I find it hard to believe that they will bid a great deal of money to sign him. Especially him being represented by Scott Boras, bullpen arms are just not worth that money

  • Kevin

    Let’s not chase this guy…………………Boras, really?

  • SoCal Cubs Fan

    I think we at least place our bid. Doesn’t hurt anything. If we can’t come to terms we lose nothing.

  • Serio


    • Dougy D

      Oh yeah! SONIC BOOOOOM!

  • Jeremy

    I’d like to land this guy. Based on videos I’ve watched he seems to have good command and some solid offspeed stuff. Looks like a good number 3 to me and a guy who could be a core piece. If the arm concerns are real like Kyle said, we could use another lefty in the bullpen though I’d like to keep him as a starter.

  • JB88

    He’s also older than 23 so the international spending limits wouldn’t be in place in any event.

  • Big Daddy

    As bad as our pitching was in the second half we should kick the tires on every arm out there. Put in a bid and see what happens.

    • Wilbur


  • @ScoutingCougars

    It’s pretty awesome that the Cubs are basically in on all these IFA’s. It makes you think that an impact player ready for the big leagues will be a distinct possibility when the time is right for the franchise.

  • FFP

    Anyone have any idea about the difference in the baseballs in Korea? Seems like not such a big deal for a hitter, but a pitcher must have a feel for a certain standard ball. I think the Japanese baseball is a bit larger. A quick Google-search turned up little info for me.

    • hansman1982

      the japanese ball is smaller with bigger seams

    • DoubleDown

      I believe prior to 2011 the baseballs were smaller.(koreans and the Japanese have smaller hands, so the theory goes). In 2011 they adopted international standards as to allowable deviations in the size of the baseball. In other words, the baseballs are the same size now. This what I know, but not sure how accurate it is.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I know Japan went to international standards but not sure about Korea.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    This seems like an asset that can be had with cash only. Would the posting fee apply to this year’s baseball operations budget or be amortized over the life of thecontract?

    The FO will have ample resources this year, and even more in the next few years. They should be actively looking for opportunities to buy tallent that does not apply against the IFA pool or cost draft pics.

    • CubFan Paul

      “They should be actively looking for opportunities to buy tallent that does not apply against the IFA pool or cost draft pics”

      they have. like you said, cash only. Theo&Co should purposely post high ($5M-$20M) and give him a shot in the rotation. they’re flush with resources and have holes.

  • FFP

    There was this.


    • Big Daddy

      Wow, that is awesome.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I see he is an Armstrong fan.

    • DoubleDown

      Yikes! Does this mean it would be a “hot air” signing?

  • Spoda17

    I feel like I say this to all of the free agent articles… I would not touch this move with a … uh… 10-foot pole. I think the is plenty of known talent that we can fill the roster with to “bridge” the gap of when we are “competitive”…

    I guess I have already accepted we are not going to win in 2013, so if we don’t win, I don’t see a lot different between 85 losses to 95 losses… other than it costing millions of dollars not well spent…

    • Dougy D

      I would at least like to see the team try to pick up a few players that give them a chance to compete for the second wildcard spot. The player salary amount is down and it wouldn’t be such a big deal to spend a little on some 2 and 3 year deals for some above average players. Look what the Cards spent to bring in Beltran. He was a little pricey, but for the production they got out of him this year it was a great pick up. They can be traded a year or two down the road for prospects or salary relief if needed. If we wait until Soriano is gone to try to compete, the franchise will be in trouble. Think about 4 years of total suckage (already at 2, 3 this coming season) and losing the national audience from WGN. This will be bad news as the Cubs will not be picking up new fans outside of the region. There will be competition from the Twins, Sox, Royals, Cards, Reds, Brewers, etc. If you were a kid getting into baseball, do you want to root for a team that continually sucks or one that gives them selves a chance to at least reach the postseason (I understand that you can probably exclude the Royals, I am just thinkng of teams in the Iowa area without a professional baseball team). I see the Cubs dumping WGN as a very bad move. The less exposure to fans, the less chance of bringing in new fans.

      Anyone know of Ichiro’s contract status? Will he be a free agent this year? It might be worth seeing if he would like to sign a one year deal. He would bring in a Japanese audience and could be traded to a contender later in the year if a prospect (Jackson) is ready to come up. He could bring in at least a mediocre prospect in a late season trade.

  • fortyonenorth

    Care to take a crack at some numbers for the posting fee and then the final contract?

    • Luke

      Posting: $8 mil
      Contract: $18mil over 6 years.

      Total cost, $26mil / 6 years, or about $4.3mil a year if we average it out.

      In my book, that’s not too high for a team like the Cubs to invest in a gamble like this.

      • DoubleDown

        Yes. But is going turn into another Yu Darvish type run-up in posting?

  • lou brock lives

    I feel another Concepcion signing – both LH – both unknowns. Put your money on short term free agent pitching as a bridge to when your high draft picks are ready in 2 or 3 years like Manaea from Indiana State this year’s # 1 LH starter.

    • DoubleDown

      I think it’s a better bet than McCarthy. No?

  • the jackal

    its not my money go for itttttttt lol i ibelieve they could do better by a proven mlb pitcher tho

    • Luke

      Nothing says they can’t do both. The Cubs have a mountain of cash available this winter. They have plenty of budget to bid for and sign Ryu and still sign several quality free agents over the winter. This is not an either/or situation.

      • Chris

        Exactly. Why not take a chance on Ryu. He only costs money, which they have plenty of. Additionally, they should still focus on signing 2 more starting pitchers. Barring unforeseen success in the first half of 2013, they’re going to end up trading one or two staring pitchers anyway. Having a young arm that can eat major league innings, as opposed to the garbage they trotted out at the end of 2012, would be a better outcome.

      • Spoda17

        I don’t necessarily disagree Luke, and maybe there is a grand plan for this year. But… I feel like we are either gunna make some significant moves, or we are not. We can’t split the baby and just bring in two above average priced pitchers and think we “made” moves.

        Being competitive is a relative term… I would almost rather see some development of people like Jackson in Wrigley for one more year, have another very high draft pick, and load up for 2014. This is the thinnest (mostly) FA crop in a long time… I would not make any trades unless it is with our prospects we know will not break into the majors.

        • Stevie B

          Spoda, shut the hell up.
          If you are going to do nothing but make sense, then just go away.

  • 1060Ivy

    Expecting to read the obligatory ‘Cubs just miss free agent signing’ article in spring/early summer in which we learn that the organization came in second in the bidding process.

    Of course, Rhu makes a great run to start the 2013 season and fades by summer and is forgotten by year 2 of 3 year deal.

  • Stevie B

    Imagine where we would be if we had won on Darvish. Yu, Garza and Samardjzia would make a rock solid, young front three. Keep Demp then you splash the market for Greinke and you have a playoff reaching pitching staff there. Completely changes the look of this ball club.
    Instead, we are reduced to “gambling” on the McCarthy, and Concepcions of the world.
    Yeah I know hindsight, but really look at that, it would have been a huge turn for us.

  • Stevie B

    Oh, and this Asian kid^^^^^ lost my train of thought.

  • Mike Taylor

    I expect it to be closer to $35M. $12.75M posting fee and $22.25M over 7 years. That’s “if” we “like” him. If the Dodgers and Phillies are hot on him, then I think that’s the highest you can go without feeling bad about yourself in the morning.

    • DoubleDown

      What are you basing your figures on?

  • Believe in 2015

    If the Cubs happened to get him where would he start the year? Is he developed enough to pitch in Iowa?

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