Winning bid for Korean lefty nearly $26 million

Left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA for the Hanwha Eagles in Korea. (Getty Images)

The Hanwha Eagles accepted a winning bid of $25,737,737.33 for negotiation rights to Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin, Insider Jon Heyman confirms. The Korean team had posted the 25-year-old lefty after the season. The bids were due at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Although there were reports the Cubs won the bidding, that's not accurate, according to Heyman. The Cubs did bid on Ryu, but were not the winning team. According to Heyman, the Dodgers were expected to make a "strong bid" for Ryu.

Whichever team did win the bidding rights now has exclusive rights to negotiate with Ryu. He is represented by Scott Boras.

A 6-foot-2, 215-pound lefty, Ryu pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Korea and has been an All-Star in Korea since debuting in 2006. That year he won the Rookie of the Year, MVP and the ERA title. He has won the strikeout title in Korea in five of his seven years, including each of the last three.

Last season he was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA, striking out 210 batters in 182 2/3 innings. He pitched more than 200 innings in each of his first two seasons and is 98-52 overall with a 2.80 ERA. 

According to Baseball America, Ryu has drawn comparisons to David Wells because he's a four-pitch lefty. Other reports say he throws in the low-90s, maxing out around 95 mph. Insider Danny Knobler reports some teams weren't sure if Ryu would be better served to start or relieve in the big leagues.

The Rangers also reportedly bid on Ryu.

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