Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking overseas once again to bolster the Cubs rotation and bullpen.
After acquiring international pitching prospects Gerardo Concepcion and Juan Carlos Paniagua from the international market, the team will continue to play the overseas prospect game having just submitted a bid on Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Ryu is recognized as Korea’s best professional pitcher after serving more than 4 years in the Korean pro leagues.
In a similar process to the Yu Darvish bidding system, all teams who wanted to bid on Ryu had to have submitted their qualifying offers to his host team Hanwha Eagles by 5pm eastern on November 8th. The eagles now have 4 business days to accept the best offer and relinquish exclusive contract rights to the winning MLB team.
While many teams have their sights set on Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, scouting reports lead me to believe that Ryu is comparable if not better than Chen.
The expected bidding price is expected to be roughly $20 million which is certainly not out of the Cubs financial range. Considering Ryu has served at least 4 years in the Korean professional leagues, he will not count against the Cubs’ amateur international signing pool (which has been greatly moderated under the new CBA).
Ryu boasts a high 80’s to low 90’s fastball with outstanding command. He’s a big body who with proper guidance from pitching coach Chris Bosio, will hone his skills to be effective in the MLB.
Many other teams have placed bids on Ryu but Epstein confirmed earlier this year that he would like to increase the number of LHP at his disposal. I would expect a competitive, if not a winning bid from the North Siders. Ryu is also a Scott Boras client, which shows his genuine commitment to becoming an MLB player.
More details as they break. Stay tuned to Cubbies Crib or follow on twitter.