LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have held initial meetings in recent days with pitchers Ryu Hyun-jin of Korea and Kyuji Fujikawa of Japan, according to media reports that the club hasn't confirmed.
The Dodgers won a 30-day exclusive negotiating window by posting a $25.7 million bid for the 25-year-old Ryu, a left-handed starter who is a seven-time All-Star in Korea. If Los Angeles does not work out a deal for Ryu by Dec. 10, he would return to Korea and the Dodgers would retain the posting fee.
The Dodgers are not looking only at Ryu. They are believed to also be interested in free-agent starters Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Hiroki Kuroda and Ryan Dempster. The club appears willing to spend to upgrade nearly any position on the roster and could sign more than one of those starters.
Los Angeles already has six established starting pitchers under contract for 2013 -- Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly. But Lilly is coming off shoulder surgery and Billingsley ended the season with a partially torn elbow ligament the club is cautiously optimistic won't require Tommy John surgery.
Ryu's agent, Scott Boras, said last week that Ryu is capable of stepping into a Major League rotation as a No. 3 starter or better. His meeting with the Dodgers was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
The 32-year-old Fujikawa has reportedly also met with the Angels, D-backs, Cubs and Orioles. As a 10-year veteran in Japan, Fujikawa is not subject to the expensive posting system that has accompanied other Japanese stars like Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Fujikawa has been the dominant closer in Japan in recent years and the Dodgers now can afford to outbid all competitors for his services.
However, with Brandon League just re-signed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal to be their closer and Kenley Jansen possessing closer stuff as a setup man, Fujikawa's role would likely be less certain with the Dodgers than with any of the other clubs in pursuit of his services.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.