Jung Ho Kang Contract Details Include $750,000 in Potential Annual Performance Bonuses

Yahoo Sports and the Associated Press has information on Jung Ho Kang’s salary breakdown and bonus structure. Kang signed a four-year, $11 M deal last Friday with the Pittsburgh Pirates, including a $5.5 M option for the 2019 season and a $250,000 buyout on that option.

Kang will receive $2.5 M per year in 2015 and 2016. He will receive $2.75 M in 2017 and $3 M in 2018. As for the performance bonuses, he could earn those based on plate appearances each year under the following structure.

**$75,000 for 475 plate appearances

**$100,000 each for 500, 525, and 550 plate appearances

**$175,000 for 575 plate appearances

**$200,000 for 600 plate appearances

That means if Kang becomes a full-time starter by 2016, he could earn up to $2 M more in bonuses from 2016-2019, which would be well worth the price if he is good enough to be a starter. He also can be reimbursed a maximum of $50,000 annually by the Pirates for round-trip business class tickets for his family from South Korea to the U.S., and he will be reimbursed up to $5,000 per year for shipping and other costs. The Pirates will also provide him with an interpreter.

The Pirates have also agreed to release Kang at the end of his contract, which would make him a free agent in 2020. That’s standard for players coming over from Japan, and in this case would mean that the Pirates wouldn’t get Kang’s sixth year of team control.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Chris Hale

Can’t wait to say going, going ,going,KANGGGGG


“Gahhhnggg” is going to become Pixburgeese for the Present Progressive Tense of “going”. It’s actually a sense of “thrill” after having been going somewhere, with an incredible element of surprise!

For example, “She will gahhhhngggg when I give her my surprise.”


Holy sheet, what a concept! Pay players for what they actually produce than paying them just in case they do.


IF he reaches any of those incentives he will already be a huge bargain because it will mean he is hitting enough to beat someone out and play everyday…or it means a rash of catastrophic injuries.


Multi-year deal + performance based pay + team option = every risk mitigation possible and team control until he’s 33…I’m starting to feel bad for Kang on this contract.


See Jose Tabata for how these deals can backfire.


See 2013-2014 for how much Jose Tabata deals hurt a team. Worst case scenario isn’t “good”, of course, but its a low cost gamble.


I agree. These are the types of gambles the Pirates need to take. They can’t afford a 20 to 30 million per year gamble.


This might be the only chance they get at it. If they fail, it’ll be hard to post another $5M. If they succeed, all the big shooters in MLB will jack up the cost of future KBO players.


I’m gung ho for Jung Ho! The price is right, and taking the chance on him is well worth it.

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