Dodgers add Greinke, South Korea's Ryu to rotation

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm •  Published: December 10, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Flush with cash after the team's sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.

The team introduced left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin (Ree-YOO He-YUN jin) of South Korea on Monday, making him the first player ever to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues.

And he was just the setup man.

The Dodgers finalized a $147 million, six-year deal with free agent right-hander Zack Greinke later in the day.

"We were definitely hoping for Zack," said Magic Johnson, a partner in Guggenheim Baseball Management which bought the team last spring. "Zack is a proven winner. When you put him together with Clayton, man, we feel really good."

The deals for Greinke and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

That doubles the number of starters the Dodgers had just two years ago.

"Feeling more fortunate than gluttonous," general manager Ned Colletti said. "It's better to be sitting where we're sitting than where we've been. It's rare you need just five pitchers."

The Dodgers were eager to bolster their pitching this winter knowing that Billingsley (elbow) and Lilly (shoulder) are coming off surgeries.

Johnson called 2009 AL Cy Young winner Greinke "the big one."

Colletti added, "We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good."

Greinke split last season with Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Angels. He went a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 34 starts, and finished the season going 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last eight starts after Aug. 24.

The 29-year-old pitcher spent his only full season in the NL in 2011, tying a career high with 16 wins.

Greinke pitched from 2004-10 with Kansas City, going 16-8 with a major league-leading 2.16 ERA in 2009 when he won the Cy Young and made the All-Star team.

"When we took over the team, we said we were going to spend money and I guess you guys are seeing that we're trying to do that," Johnson said.

Ryu signed a $36 million, six-year deal after talks went down to the final seconds of the negotiating window a day earlier.

"It's not just the spending but who you're spending it on," Johnson said. "It has to be the right guys."

The Dodgers paid $25.7 million for the right to negotiate with Ryu, whose agent is Scott Boras. If they hadn't reached a deal by Sunday's 2 p.m. PST deadline, Ryu would have returned to the Hanwha Eagles and the Dodgers would have been refunded the posting fee they paid for exclusive rights to negotiate with the 25-year-old pitcher.