Major leaguer Ryu Hyun-jin (36) made his first appearance in a Korean ballpark in a long time. The ‘Korean Monster’ appeared at Jamsil Stadium. It’s Game 5 of the Korean Series. He also met with manager Kim In-sa “Eunsa” Kim (76) for the first time in a long time, but he was tight-lipped about his new team.
Ryu Hyun-jin watched the game between LG and KT in Game 5 of the 2023 KBO Korean Series at Jamsil Stadium on Wednesday. He came to the ballpark with his wife, former announcer Bae Ji-hyun.굿모닝토토 주소
The “3 Kim” managers were Kim Sung-geun, Kim Eung-yong, and Kim In-sung. LG coach Park Kyung-wan, Hongik University coach Jang Chae-geun, and former Doosan catcher Hong Seong-heon were the pinch-hitters.
Before the game, Ryu visited the dugout with Kim Ha-seong (San Diego) and Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom) to greet and chat with some of baseball’s elders, especially Kim In-sung, who has a close relationship with Ryu. He was the manager when Ryu joined Hanwha.
He made the high school rookie a starter, and in his rookie season, Ryu went 18-6 with a 2.23 ERA in 30 games and 201.2 innings pitched. He went on to become one of the best pitchers in the KBO and a top-tier starter in the major leagues.
Ryu said, “I contacted the KBO because I wanted to come today. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a KBO game on the field. It’s been almost 10 years. I think it will be fun,” he laughed.
Ryu Hyun-jin is currently a free agent. His four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto expires after the 2023 season. His agent, Scott Boras, said, “There are a lot of teams that want him. He will pitch in the United States next year.”
Last year, he underwent elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery). This year, he returned to pitch 11 games and 52 innings, going 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA. It was a successful comeback season. A multi-million dollar contract may be hard to come by, as it was in his last free agency. But he’s still a competitive starter.
Hanwha fans have high hopes. If Ryu returns to the KBO, he should definitely come to Hanwha. That’s because he’s moved to the post system. “I will definitely come back to Hanwha while I still have the strength,” he said several times.
He will turn 38 in 2024. Retirement is not far away. Many fans want him to spend the rest of his career with Hanwha. In the end, it’s up to Ryu to decide.
“I’ve been working out in Korea. My body is in good shape. I’m working out and waiting. I have to listen to my agent’s explanation first. After the Winter Meetings, I think something will come out by mid-December, but for now, I’m waiting.”
When asked what his thoughts are, he laughs, “I don’t know yet.” He’s a little noncommittal, but he’s also not in a position to say anything definitive at this point. He said mid-December. It seems that more time is needed.
He also talked about juniors Kim Ha-seong and Lee Jung-hoo, who came with him. “I think Lee Jung-hoo will do well in the major leagues next year. He’s the best hitter in Korea. Everyone knows his skills, and I think he’ll do well if he adapts quickly,” he emphasized.
As for Kim, he said, “He’s the first Korean and the first Asian infielder to win a Gold Glove. I’m proud of him. It’s great, he performed so well. I think he should be satisfied. He’s still young. I have a lot of days left. If you take care of yourself, you will continue to look good.”