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Pros and Cons: Ryu or Bumgarner?

Nash Walker



blog-0569099001575687383.jpgThe Twins missed on Zack Wheeler when he signed a 5-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made an offer that Wheeler may have considered had he not been tied so heavily to New Jersey and the National League East.


The good news is that Wheeler is not the only realistic impact pitcher that the Twins can acquire. They took a considerable step forward by resigning Michael Pineda to a 2-year, $20 million contract late Thursday night.


The rotation now consists of their three best starters from 2019 in Pineda, Jake Odorizzi and José Berríos, but there is more work to be done. Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu are out there, and the Twins are reportedly in on both, maybe even more so for Ryu:





Pros of Hyun-Jin Ryu:


Ryu is an elite run preventer. He had the lowest ERA in the National League and a 163/24 K/BB ratio in 182 ⅔ innings for the Dodgers in 2019.


The price for Ryu is a huge plus. He should demand a contract in the 3-year, $75 million range. With Falvey and Levine prioritizing clean books, Ryu fits the bill as a shorter-term commitment.


Cons of Hyun-Jin Ryu:


Well, age. Ryu has had considerable health issues throughout his career. Ryu pitched a total of 213 ⅔ innings from 2016-2018 after back-to-back 150+ inning seasons to start his major league tenure.


Ryu has spent his entire career in Los Angeles and may not be looking to move to Minnesota if it is not for a substantial amount of money. The Dodgers may also have mutual interest in retaining the Cy-Young runner-up.


Pros of Madison Bumgarner:


Bumgarner was one of the best starting pitchers of the last decade, winning three World Series titles and pitching in four All-Star games with four top-10 finishes for the Cy Young Award.


He is incredibly consistent, never posting an ERA above 3.90 in 11 seasons. Bumgarner is a workhorse, throwing over 200 innings seven times in his career. He is entering his age-30 season and still seems to have plenty left in the tank.


Cons of Madison Bumgarner:


The price of Bumgarner skyrocketed when Wheeler signed his massive deal. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that MadBum will likely demand $100 million or more himself.


Bumgarner has nearly 2,000 innings on his arm and pitched in only 38 games between 2017 and 2018. He has also benefited from San Francisco’s pitcher-friendly confines, posting a 2.72 ERA at home compared to 3.53 on the road.


Where should they lean?


I do like Ryu, and I think he is effective again in 2020, but I think Bumgarner is the way to go. MadBum is a winner, and I think I would feel very confident with him on the hill in a playoff game.


Who do you want the Twins to sign? Comment below!


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    Would I be upset if we signed Ryu? No. The guy can pitch. And maybe Wes and Rocco can nurture him for 180IP per season to make it work.


    But if we were going to take a shot, I'd rather bet on the bionic arm of Bumgarner. His injuries were a motocross accident and a freak injury where a ball hit his hand, IIRC. Despite all his IP, I would still feel better about him, his experience and bulldog mentality vs a guy 3yrs older who can't stay on the mound.


    Bumgarner...and this is what scares me...is just ready for TJ or a rotator cuff or labrum problem based on all his IP. But what I love about him is he just may indeed have a bionic arm. Maybe he is a LH version of Jack Morris. Laugh if you will. But think about Verlander with Detroit. He looked almost cooked. Then he rebounded and was traded and found a second life. Bumgarner doesn't have, and probably never had, Verlander's velocity. But pitching isn't always about pure velocity. New team, fresh experience, new coaching, I would bet more on him and his arm and experience and attitude over Ryu in a heartbeat.


    I know we could get burned. But isn't that true for any 30yr old pitcher with miles on his arm? But I am willing to take the chance on MadBum and what he has left if the cost doesn't get crazy.

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    As always Doc, a stellar take.  I agree. (Good article Nash, this should generate a LOT of discussion).  Both are smart pitchers who know how to pitch.  They don't have the velocity of a Verlander or Wheeler, but either one would have a tremendous impact on our pitchers.  Look at the positive impact Cruz had on our hitters.  I don't think it's an accident that Sano looked more and more like Cruz at the plate as the year wore on.  So I agree with Doc.  If I had to choose, I'd take Mad-Bum.  Durable, post season pedigree etc...but if you told me today, "well, you guys will have to settle for Ryu"   I'd say "EXCELLENT !!"  

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    Ryu had 22 quality starts out of 29 last year and most were Bert Blyleven's definition rather than the 6 inning 3 runs given up definition.  Bum was 20 of 34 and most were the weaker variety which accounts for the difference in ERA of 2.32 vs 3.9.   Bum had 5 more starts and 20 more innings.    I am more concerned about making the playoffs again but if it is playoff success you want I will still go with the 2.32 ERA.   Injury prone only counts with me if they are coming back from an injury.   No one wants another Dyson situation but I assume the Twins would do diligence to make sure he is currently healthy.    3 years at 75 mil is also appealing vs a 4 year 100 mil deal.   Ryu hands down but if you told be today "Well, you guys will have to settle for Bumgarten I'd say "EXCELLENT"

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