NASHVILLE – The Dodgers are making efforts to reestablish their international presence but are becoming uncertain about their chances of signing their top targets from Asia.
Talks with South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin are moving very slowly, according to General Manager Ned Colletti. And the Dodgers now think high school flamethrower Shohei Otani could remain in his native Japan instead of signing with a U.S. ballclub.
The Dodgers bid $25.7 million to win a league-wide auction for the exclusive right to negotiate with Ryu, a seven-time South Korean league all-star.
“The pace we’re on isn’t necessary a pace to get a deal done,” Colletti said. “So we’ll see. Things could certainly pick up in a hurry. It doesn’t take long to make a deal. But the pace we’re on, we’re not on the doorstep of doing anything.”
The Dodgers have until Sunday to reach an agreement with Ryu. If a deal isn’t reached, Ryu would return to his South Korean league team, the Hanwha Eagles.
“As soon as we receive an offer, we can begin discussions,” Ryu’s agent, Scott Boras, wrote in a text message.
Otani said last month that he intended to go directly from high school to the United States.
Nonetheless, he was drafted by Japan’s Nippon Ham-Fighters, who are courting the 18-year-old right-hander. Otani met with the Ham-Fighters on Monday and his father told reporters in Japan that talks were moving in a positive direction.
A Dodgers official said he didn’t know if Otani would come to United States. That being said, if Otani does come, the official would be “shocked” if he signs with a team other than the Dodgers.