The Los Angeles Dodgers have bid nearly $26 million for a chance to sign pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin.
The Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization said Saturday they have accepted a posting fee of $25.7 million for the 25-year-old left-hander. Major League Baseball later announced that the team was the Dodgers.
“We are thrilled to have this exciting opportunity,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. “We have watched Ryu pitch for a long time and he is another option to consider as we look to improve our team in 2013 and beyond.”
The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers were also among the clubs thought to be interested in Ryu.
Los Angeles now has 30 days to negotiate a minor league or major league contract with Ryu and his agent, Scott Boras.
Ryu was 98-52 with a 2.80 career ERA during seven seasons in South Korea. He pitched for his country on teams that won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and reached the championship game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The $25.7 million fee will be paid to the Eagles only if Ryu signs with the major league team.
The posting system brought Japanese stars Yu Darvish, Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka to the majors. Last winter, the Rangers gave Darvish a six-year contract guaranteeing him $56 million after submitting a record $51,703,411 posting bid to his former team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.