This winter’s free agent class was once full of starting pitching. The offseason began with starting pitchers representing 10 of the top 20 free agents overall, and 21 of FanGraphs’ Top 50 Free Agents. After Dallas Keuchel signed with Chicago White Sox, Hyun-Jin Ryu, 40-year-old Rich Hill, and Homer Bailey were the only ranked starters remaining, and only Ryu represented a good bet for production next season. With many teams still in need of reinforcements for their rotations, competition for the lefty’s services was likely strong. Among potential contenders, the Twins and Angels presented the greatest need for a starter, but it was the Blue Jays who surprised and reached agreement on a four-year deal worth $80 million, per Jeff Passan.
Ryu will turn 33 years old in March, so the end of this contract will take him through his age-36 season. He’s got a complicated injury history (he hit the injured list again for a short time last season), but a strong 2019 combined with his status as the last man standing on the free agent market allowed him to far exceed the $48 million crowdsource median ($59 million average), as well as Kiley McDaniel’s $32 million estimate….