The Padres could shock everyone and sign Hyun-Jin Ryu
There are a lot of folks wondering how the Padres are going to cover innings in 2024 with their rotation. Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove (unless San Diego follows our advice), and Michael King are currently set to anchor the top of the rotation, but they appear to hanging a lot of hope on their young guys like Drew Thorpe and Robby Snelling to cover meaningful innings this coming season.
However, one outside of the box option that San Diego should consider is adding free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu has finished in the top 3 of Cy Young voting twice, consistently pounds the zone, and brings the added benefit of being a signing that the Padres can torture the Dodgers with.
There is risk with adding Ryu, though. Since 2015, Ryu has had multiple surgeries to fix his shoulder and elbow, including Tommy John surgery, which cost him a chunk of his 2022 and 2023 seasons with the Blue Jays. While any pitcher is an injury risk, Ryu's risk is uniquely high.
For a team like the Padres that needs to control costs while still trying to finding a way to field a competitive team in a brutal division, this is the kind of risk they simply have to take at this point. If he is healthy and can return to form, Ryu could be a front-of-the-rotation arm at a massive discount over the going rate for that kind of arm talent. It does look like this move could actually be on the Padres radar as well, given that recent reports have connected the two.