Mets Will Not Sign Jung-ho Kang
The Pittsburgh Pirates have won the right to negotiate with Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang, bidding $5,002,015.
That doesn’t mean Kang will be in Pittsburgh next season — only that the Bucs have exclusive negotiating rights with him. If the two sides do not come to terms, Kang can return to Korea and the Pirates get their money back.
The Mets did not place a bid, so there wasn’t a possibility that Kang would be on the club in 2015.
For those unaware, Kang hit .356 with 40 homeruns in 117 games last year. However, scouts are split on whether he can handle shortstop on an everyday basis; they’re also split on whether he’ll hit big-league pitching. The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) is considered to be an inferior league, and somewhere between AA and high-A ball.
The Mets reportedly had some interest in Kang earlier in the winter, but that waned after
they ran daily fan surveys regarding Troy Tulowitzki Sandy Alderson came to the conclusion that some risk was involved.
1) He is a good athlete, but he has a thick lower half, which is why shortstop will be a challenge for him.
2) He has a good arm and decent hands, but he needs work on his fundamentals and footwork.
3) He would make a better third baseman than shortstop, where he’s not likely to stick at the MLB level.
4) He won’t hit 38 HR in MLB, though he does have the potential for power numbers.
5) He will need some development time in the minors, like the Dodgers did with Yasiel Puig.
Hmm … that sounds a lot like another “shortstop” who is already property of the New York Mets, doesn’t it?
What’s your thought? Should the Mets have placed a bid? Even if it turned out that Kang didn’t profile as a shortstop, would you have liked to have seen him in the orange and blue — perhaps moved to 2B or a corner spot?
Oh, by the way, the Pirates already have an everyday shortstop in Jordy Mercer. As well as starters at the other three infield spots, and at all three outfield positions. Weird that they’d want to add another player, right? I guess they have a thing for depth.
For what it’s worth — and likely, it’s worth nothing — I have to say, I can’t remember a shortstop who hit 40 homeruns in A ball, or AA for that matter. In fact, I can’t remember ANY player who hit that many homers in A or AA.
Well, actually, I think Brandon Wood hit 40+ in A ball about ten years ago, and he turned out to be a dud. But still, if you’re a team that is looking for sluggers, has none in its system, and can pick up someone with power potential for nothing but money — isn’t it worth looking into?