This winter is shaping up to be feature some star-studded free agents. Despite the past few offseasons moving at a snail-like pace, there is some excitement for this year’s class. So much so that Antony Castrovince ranked baseball’s top 20 free agents on MLB.com. The list features some of the most prominent faces in October this season, from Gerrit Cole to Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon.
With Strasburg opting out, Free Agency is even going to be more fun!
Hyun Jin Ryu
Gerrit Cole among many others.
This is going to be so much fun!
— Hugh Thorp (@HughThorp216) November 3, 2019
Dodgers fans will see a familiar face on the list in Hyun-Jin Ryu (and Puig, but that’s not this story). It should come as no surprise that Ryu is considered at the top of this free agent class considering how dominant he was in 2019, but what is surprising is where he was ranked. Ryu came in at number eight on the list, and this is what Castrovince had to say about the Cy Young candidate:
“The Dodgers got a steal when Ryu accepted the $17.9 million qualifying offer last winter, but his second-half numbers (3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) took some of the shine off his Cy Young Award bid, and durability questions could affect his earning power this winter. Bear in mind that Ryu’s 182 2/3 innings were his most since 2014.”
Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg undoubtedly deserve the top three spots, but it’s an eyebrow raiser that he knocked Ryu for his second half struggles, but he still had a better overall season statistically than Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner, who both are ranked higher than Ryu. His age might also be a factor, as he will turn 33 before the start of the 2020 season.
What are your thoughts about Ryu’s free agency, and do you agree with Castrovince’s ranking?