Reports: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu to become Korea’s highest-paid player

Free agent left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu is expected to return to his native Korea, where the Hanwha Eagles will make him the highest-paid player in the KBO League, per reports in Korean media Tuesday.

He pitched for the Eagles from 2006-12, winning Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in 2006, before heading to the major leagues. He was 18-6 with a 2.23 ERA that season.

Ryu made his MLB debut on April 2, 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After leading the majors in ERA (2.32) during his All-Star season in 2019, he signed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays that December.

Tommy John surgery performed in June 2022 limited Ryu to just 17 starts over the past two seasons, and he was 5-3 for the Blue Jays in that span.

Ryu, who turns 37 next month, posted a 78-48 career record with a 3.27 ERA in 186 regular season appearances (185 starts). He struck out 934 batters in 1,055 1/3 innings.

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