Minnesota Twins: Hyun-Jin Ryu latest name to appear on Twins’ wish list

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins are linked all over on free-agent pitching and their pursuit of the former Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander could be an option.

The Minnesota Twins have been all over free agency this year and while they have nothing to show for it outside of retaining Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda, they still have made the effort to attract “impact pitching” to Minnesota.

While many eyes are focused on Madison Bumgarner, the Twins are continuing to look at other options as they were reportedly a finalist for Jordan Lyles before he signed with the Texas Rangers last week and are now looking at former Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

The Dodgers lefty made his first career All-Star appearance in 2019 and has regained his form over the past two seasons going 21-8 with a 2.21 ERA. While Ryu is the defending National League ERA champion, the potential of acquiring him doesn’t come without risk.

After winning 14 games in each of his first two seasons in the major leagues, Ryu injured his left shoulder prior to the 2015 season. The injury effectively took three years to fully recover from, but that road was also lined with an injury to his groin, which hints at major concerns about his durability.

If there is a benefit to Ryu, it may be that he can be had with less risk than his fellow target Bumgarner. While Bumgarner is likely to seek a five-year deal worth over $100 million, Ryu would command less due to the fact he’ll turn 33 in March.

With more statistical success than Bumgarner over the past couple seasons, it’s possible he may be the better investment with a fastball that averaged 90.6 MPH, but also was in the 96th percentile in exit velocity last season per Baseball Savant.

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Regardless of whatever risk may loom with Ryu, there’s certain to be some level with any free-agent pitcher. If the Twins want to make the leap to legitimate contender next season, they have to pull the trigger somewhere and if they can’t land Bumgarner, Ryu might be a solid “Plan B.”

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