Pittsburgh Pirates Have Winning Bid On Korean Shortstop Jung-ho Kang
By Dan Hughes
The wait is over. The suspense has finally ended. The winner of the Jung-ho Kang sweepstakes is the Pittsburgh Pirates?
In what amounted to an episode of Serial, major league baseball media and fans were glued to the wire, waiting for any information about where Kang was going.
We kept a close eye on it because no information had leaked indicating that the Mariners weren’t involved. Calls into several sources went unanswered. So the mystery continued through the weekend.
After Kang’s KBO team – the Nexen Heroes – made him the first Korean position player to ever be posted, they accepted the winning bid of just over $5 million and now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Kang and his agent.
Kang, hit .356 with 40 homers and 117 RBI in a notoriously hitter-friendly league.
How that will translate to the Big Leagues is anyone’s guess. But it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that he could hit near .300 with 20-25 homers. It would have been an improvement over Miller and Taylor to say the least.
It would then have allowed the Mariners the flexibility to trade on of those two to a team in need of a shortstop, for another pitcher. Or, it’s possible that the club could have used Miller in a platoon role with the recently acquired Justin Ruggiano and have Taylor ready for spot starts and late-inning defensive replacement.
As for how much the Pirates will have to dole out for Kang, reports indicated that Kang’s agent, Alan Nero is seeking $20 million over four years, $16.6 million for three years or $12 million for two years. This according to a Yonhap News Agency report. That’s a relatively minor gamble – as far as contracts go.
The Mariners spent $6 million for Corey Hart in 2014.
So, the clock starts now, well, it already started a few days ago. Who knows why we had to wait so long to find out.