MLB Rumors: After David Price Talks With Red Sox, Blue Jays To Sign Hyun-Jin Ryu

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Either the Toronto Blue Jays were in the process of turning over any and all stones to find starting pitching, or they used some leverage to get the guy they wanted all along.

Or perhaps both.

The Blue Jays, according to multiple reports, agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu late Sunday night. The contract, first reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, is a four-year deal worth $80 million.

If he can stay healthy, Ryu is the perfect addition for a young, talented Toronto team that’s short on starting pitching. Ryu’s walk year with the Los Angeles Dodgers was the best of his career. The 32-year-old went 14-5 with a league-leading 2.32 ERA (and league-leading 179 ERA+) while striking out 163 batters in 29 starts.

Before getting an agreement from Ryu, however, the Jays reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Boston Red Sox regarding a familiar face: David Price. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the two teams had discussed a Price deal, a report that later was confirmed by The Boston Globe.

When Rosenthal reported the news Sunday afternoon, he noted an agreement wasn’t close while also reporting: “the Red Sox are talking to other clubs about Price and examining different options, as well, sources said.”

This is pure speculation, but one assumes Price would have welcomed a move back to Toronto after he was traded there from the Detroit Tigers in 2015. Price was fantastic down the stretch with the Jays, going 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA, helping push Toronto over the finish line and into the playoffs. The Jays eventually bowed out of the postseason with a six-game loss in the American League Championship Series.

However, if Price is traded this winter, it seems like it will be to somewhere other than Toronto. If the Jays were talking to the Red Sox about taking on some of the money owed to Price, as Rosenthal reported, then it’s hard to believe they’d still be in the running after committing $80 million to Ryu over the next four seasons. In fact, it’s worth wondering how much interest the Jays really had in a reunion with Price, as the timing of the reported agreement with Ryu — just a few hours after the initial Rosenthal report — makes you think the Red Sox trade talks might have been an effort to increase leverage in negotiations with Ryu.

Of course, both things could be true: The Jays could have had legit interest in Price while also using the talks as some sort of leverage. If the former is true, and the two teams were having earnest discussions about a deal, it’s interesting that new Red Sox boss Chaim Bloom is open to dealing a pitcher of Price’s stature within the division.

Regardless, Price’s name keeps coming up in trade rumors, and with the Red Sox trying to cut payroll this offseason, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

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