The Los Angeles Dodgers offered both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasmani Grandal the qualifying offer this offseason. Both had their responses on Monday.
Today the Los Angeles Dodgers got responses from two of their veteran players in contract talks. One said yes and will return for a year and the other said no and will potentially seek greener pastures somewhere else in free agency.
It is being reported that Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers’ Korean left-handed starter, agreed to stay with the Dodgers accepting their qualifying offer of 17.9 million keeping him through 2019.
Ryu had a renaissance of a season posting a 1.97 ERA in 82.1 innings before suffering a groin injury. When Ryu came back from the injury, he was lights out throwing 52.2 innings with 53 strikeouts and a 1.89 ERA.
Ryu was especially strong at home posting a 1.15 ERA and striking out 60 with just six walks. Ryu’s home splits meant the Dodgers gave him the ball in game one of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium.
All Ryu did was pitch seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts to get the win and start the Dodgers on their march to a second consecutive World Series berth.
Despite his injury history (Ryu missed all of 2015 and most of 2016) the Dodgers are willing to go another year and hope his rise as a top pitcher on their staff continues.
Also being reported is that catcher Yasmani Grandal has declined his qualifying offer meaning he will explore free agency. It is highly unlikely that the Dodgers re-sign Grandal to a long-term offer. It is now highly probable that Grandal’s Dodgers career is over.
Grandal is one of the best hitting catchers in the major leagues, Grandal hit 87 home runs and drove in 245 runs both in the top five of catchers in the last four seasons. He was also considered one of the best at his position at framing pitches.
Despite this, Grandal struggled at times with his defense leading the National League in passed balls in 2016 (10) and 2017 (16). He also tended to fade offensively as the season progressed posting a .202 average in August and .232 average in September.
His postseason numbers were even worst as Grandal hit .107 for the Dodgers in four playoff seasons and only hit 2 home runs with 6 RBI in 92 plate appearances.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to find an adequate a catcher or go with backup Austin Barnes who reassured no one with his disastrous 2018 season when he hit .205 in the regular season and .069 in the postseason.