The Los Angeles Dodgers’ bid for negotiating rights to pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin was accepted by Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization, Major League Baseball said.
The South Korean team accepted the Dodgers’ $25.7 million bid for the rights to the left-handed ace of their staff, according to a Korean-language statement posted on the Eagles’ website.
“I’ve taken a step toward a dream come true,” Ryu said in a statement on the website. “I’ll prepare thoroughly so I can give hopes to Korean fans and youngsters who want to become baseball players.”
The Dodgers have 30 consecutive days to sign Ryu to a contract. If they fail to reach a deal, Ryu remains with the Eagles and can’t be posted again for one year, and the payment is refunded to the Dodgers.
“We have watched Ryu pitch for a long time, and he is another option to consider as we look to improve our team in 2013 and beyond,” Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said, according to MLB.com.
Ryu, 25, was 98-52 with a 2.80 career earned-run average during seven seasons in South Korea. He pitched for his country on teams that won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and reached the championship game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Japanese players Yu Darvish, Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka joined Major League teams under the posting system. The Texas Rangers paid a record $51.7 million to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for the right to talk to Darvish, who signed a six-year contract guaranteeing him $56 million, the Associated Press reported.