Hyun-Jin Ryu will be back with the Dodgers for 2019 after he accepted the team’s $17.9 million qualifying offer Monday. As expected, Yasmani Grandal will test the market as free agent, officially declining the same offer.
The Dodgers issued two of the seven total qualifying offers to potential free agents 10 days ago, with Ryu becoming the only one to accept. Only six of the 80 possible players have done so since the system was put into place six years ago, one of which was Brett Anderson with Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season.
Much like Anderson, Ryu takes the deal after injuries clouded his value on the open market. The left-hander has made just 40 starts — 15 in 2018 — over the past four seasons combined after having shoulder surgery in early 2015.
Ryu had an excellent year surrounding a three-month trip to the disabled list due to a groin injury. The lefty was 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA, striking out 89 in 82 1⁄3 innings while walking only 15. Coming back to the team secures essentially half of the $36 million the Dodgers originally inked him to over six years in December 2012.
For the moment, the Dodgers have a crowded rotation that includes Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Julio Urías. Every one of them has been needed over the last couple seasons, and most could be needed in 2019.
Grandal on the other hand, will look for a multi-year deal for his services. The switch-hitting backstop hit .241/.349/.466 with 49 extra-base hits, including 24 homers during the regular season. Grandal has been one of the top five framers behind the plate since joining the Dodgers.
If another team signs Grandal, the Dodgers will get a compensatory draft pick between the second and third round of the draft in June.