“Hyun-jin Ryu could be an option for the team.”

The Toronto Blue Jays have once again hinted that they have no intention of actively pursuing free agent Ryu Hyun-jin, 36. In a question-and-answer segment with readers on Sunday, Sportsnet Canada took a look at Toronto’s 2023-2024 offseason.

Regarding Hyun-jin Ryu, general manager Ross Atkins reiterated what he said in his season-ending press conference. “Mr. Atkins made what appears to be a mistake. He used the past tense to describe the free agent position players we have now, and I’m not looking forward to that.”

Atkins had been scrambling to explain the timing of Jose Berrios’ early exit and Yusei Kikuchi’s relief appearance in Game 2 of the wild-card series against the Minnesota Twins. Sportsnet pointed out that his comments were nuanced and seemed to disrespect internal free agents.

Still, Atkins said, “Hyun-jin Ryu could be an option,” meaning he’s not the No. 1 pick and could be considered if they don’t get the players they want. Realistically, Toronto’s batting needs are more pressing than its starting pitching.

As for Ryu, he has plenty of options in free agency. After all, there are teams out there that want a fifth starter on a short-term deal. There’s also no reason for him to stay with a team that has a history of on-field and off-field conflict. Sportsnet also believes that the embers of conflict remain. 굿모닝토토

“It’s going to be hard to undo the belief that the front office is forcing the coaching staff to make moves that aren’t good for the game,” Sportsnet said. The issue at play here is a difference in intent and perception, from the front office to the coaching staff to the roster. There will be disagreements about various moves, but maintaining trust in the face of disagreement is essential if Toronto aims to produce strong production next year.”