TORONTO – Baseball fans in Toronto’s Korean community say the Blue Jays signing Hyun-Jin Ryu represents a big move for the team, both in their chances of making the post-season and in their popularity abroad.
The Jays announced Friday they’ve signed the 32-year-old left-hander to a four-year deal worth US$80 million.
Ryu made his first all-star appearance last year, starting for the National League, and he immediately becomes the ace of a young Blue Jays pitching rotation.
The CEO of a Korean baseball club in Toronto says he’s excited for Ryu’s arrival, but also worried because the Jays will still have a relatively unproven team this year.
J.C. Kim of the Korean Canadian Baseball Association says Ryu has celebrity status in his home country of South Korea, where he has been a well-known name since high school.
Toronto is home to more than 73,000 people of Korean descent, according to the 2016 census.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019.
© 2019 The Canadian Press