USA Today Sports
Six days before the deadline to sign the 25-year old Korean left-hander Dodgers general manager told reporters that at the current pace of negotiations a deal might not get done. That doesn't mean it's time to worry...yet.
An important thing to remember this time of year is that in all negotiations there won't be much movement toward a resolution without some sense of urgency. In the case of Ryu Hyun-jin and the Dodgers, that urgency simply isn't yet there.
So when general manager Ned Colletti told reporters on Monday that at the current pace of negotiations a deal with Ryu won't get done, as relayed by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, it's difficult to find enough grains of salt with which to digest this news.
After all, the Dodgers have six days to get a deal done with Ryu. Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. PT, is the deadline to sign the 25-year old left-handed pitcher, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register (apparently the day the bid was announced, Nov. 10, also counted as one of the 30 days to complete a deal). The Dodgers bid $25.7 million for exclusive negotiating rights to Ryu, and if they don't come to a contract agreement then they won't have to pay that bid to the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Orgnanization.
But it's far too early to worry about such things.
The Dodgers are the only team that can sign Ryu, so they are essentially bidding against themselves. There is the obvious matter of not getting his services if he doesn't sign, but that sense of urgency simply isn't yet there. In fact, yet is a key word here, especially when examining the full quote from Colletti, per Plunkett:
"Pace we're on is not necessarily a pace to get a deal done. We'll see. Things can certainly pick up in a hurry. But the pace we're on is not very conducive to getting deal done."
How about we let the winter meetings run their course first. They will be over by Thursday, which last I checked is still far before the deadline to sign Ryu.
One item on the agenda is starting pitcher Zack Greinke, who unlike Ryu is free to sign with any MLB team. Colletti talked with Greinke's agent on Monday, per Bill Shaikin of the Times, but said no offers are out just yet.
Earlier Monday Jon Heyman of CBS Sports characterized the Dodgers as the clear favorites for Greinke, or at least the team that would make him the highest offer, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post said the Rangers are "right there" with the Dodgers in their willingness to spend on Greinke. As if to prove their willingness to spend, Texas just paid $8 million over two years for reliever Joakim Soria, who missed all of 2012 after Tommy John surgery.
It's understandable that Greinke is the focus at the moment.
The lesson here: if the free-spending Dodgers ultimately don't sign Ryu, that's when to react. But until then save your angst, and don't be swayed by public negotiating ploys.