The Dodgers could wait until after the winter meetings to decide whether to sign South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, team President Stan Kasten said Monday.
The Dodgers paid $25.7 million for the right to negotiate with Ryu. If they do not sign him by Dec. 10, they get their money back.
The Dodgers believe Ryu can step into their major league rotation next season, and it is unlikely they would damage their expanded presence in international baseball by failing to sign him.
However, according to Kasten, the Dodgers might not determine whether to sign Ryu until after they see what pitchers they can acquire in trade or free agency by the time the winter meetings end Dec. 6.
“That’s a decision that doesn’t have to be made until after the winter meetings are over,” Kasten said.
Scott Boras, the agent for Ryu, generally tends to extend negotiations until the final days before a deadline.
General Manager Ned Colletti reported little progress in his efforts to trade for a starting pitcher.
“Nothing imminent,” he said. “People may change their perspectives as free agents sign.”
The Dodgers also could sign a free-agent starter, with Zack Greinke, Hiroki Kuroda and Anibal Sanchez among their options. Colletti said he has yet to hear an asking price from the agents for starting pitchers.
Colletti said he expects left fielder Carl Crawford to be ready for opening day, barring any setbacks in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Colletti also said he has not called a team about right fielder Andre Ethier and hasn’t fielded a call from a team inquiring about Ethier.
Kasten and Colletti spoke with reporters after the Dodgers announced a major expansion of their international scouting staff. The Dodgers doubled the size of their staff, enabling them to broaden their presence in Latin America and Asia and establish a presence in Australia and Europe.
“The Dodgers were dead last the last three years in international signings,” Kasten said. “That’s just hard to believe. This is an organization that could attract guys just by accident.”
Kasten also said the Dodgers soon plan to formally announce stadium renovations, but he confirmed they would include new clubhouses, expanded fan amenities, new scoreboards and actual, reliable wireless service throughout Dodger Stadium.
“We will no longer need smoke signals to communicate from Dodger Stadium,” Kasten said.