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