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3 Dark Horse Landing Spots for Hyun-Jin Ryu in MLB Free Agency

Hyun-Jin Ryu
Hyun-Jin Ryu is now the top free agent starting pitcher available this offseason. | Will Newton/Getty Images

With Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg now off of the market, teams have turned their eyes towards the second tier of free agent starters headlined by Hyun-Jin Ryu. He has drawn interest primarily from the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers, but there are plenty of dark-horse squads around the league flying under the radar to potentially land his services.

3. Los Angeles Angels

The prospect of playing under Joe Maddon with Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon could sway Ryu.
The prospect of playing under Joe Maddon with Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon could sway Ryu. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

After swinging and missing on Cole, the Angels went out and signed superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon to a massive deal. Of course, this didn't address the weakness of their starting rotation. Ryu, who has a ridiculous 2.21 ERA since 2018, could be the fix they've been searching for. He has spent his entire MLB career in Los Angeles, and that, along with the prospect of being the ace on an extremely talented team, could swing him from Chavez Ravine to Anaheim.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty
Jack Flaherty could use some help in the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Cardinals already have a solid rotation now that Jack Flaherty has blossomed into a star, but their hasty exit in the NLCS last year has them searching for help in all facets of the game. Acquiring Ryu would help create a super rotation to dominate the NL Central, and that, in turn, would also help them avoid having to use their suspect bullpen as frequently. They've got money to spend this offseason, and if he's looking to play competitive baseball with a storied franchise, then the Cardinals are the team for him.

1. Milwaukee Brewers

Zach Davies
Zach Davies was the only pitcher to throw more than 150 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. | Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

To say that the Brewers even have a starting rotation would be incredibly generous. They've ranked in the bottom half of the league in fWAR from their starting pitchers in each of the past two seasons. If they want to stay competitive in the NL Central, then they need to sign Ryu. He went at least seven innings in 15 of his 29 starts last year, so it makes all of the sense in the world for them to go after him. He can provide the length that they need at a reasonable price. If the Brewers are hungry enough, they could come out of nowhere to win his services.