Monday, December 22, 2014

Pittsburgh Pirates win bidding for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have won the bidding for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang (강정호). From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Their posting fee was $5,002,015, as reported by his team, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, and the Heroes accepted the bid Saturday.

The Pirates have 30 days to negotiate with Kang’s agent, Alan Nero of Octagon. If the two sides reach an agreement, Nexen receives the posting fee. If not, Kang cannot be posted again until next winter.

Kang, 27, hit .356 with a .459 on-base percentage and 40 home runs in 117 games for the Heroes this season, though those impressive offensive numbers came against lower-level competition in the KBO.
Pirates scouts, among those from many other teams, were seen at Korean Baseball Organization games throughout 2014. If Kang signs with the Pirates and makes their roster, he will be the second Korean player in the team's history after pitcher Chan-ho Park, who would set the record for wins by an Asian player in the Major Leagues during his late-2010 stint in Pittsburgh. Relief pitcher Byung-hyun Kim never made it out of spring training in 2008, while several others have played in the Pirates system.