Jung-Ho Kang Leaving For Pittsburgh This Week to Potentially Finalize a Deal

A report out of Korea last night, from Jung-Ho Kang’s club, says that the infielder will be heading to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in order to take a physical on Thursday. (h/t Bucs Dugout) Typically a physical is needed as the final step when a deal has been agreed upon. At the end of last week it was rumored that the Pirates were close to signing Kang, with Jon Morosi saying that an agreement could come by the middle of this week.

Jeeho Yoo says that if Kang does sign during this trip, he would remain in the U.S.

He likely wouldn’t be signed in time to participate in mini-camp this week in Bradenton, although coming to the U.S. early could allow the Pirates to get some extra work in with Kang before Spring Training starts.

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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With all of the recent additions, both on field and off it looks like the pirates are set for long term contention. Kinda gives a bucs fan the warm and fuzzies. It also makes one wonder how high ticket prices are going to go?


MLB Trade Rumors is reporting a 4 year deal for around $16 million with a 5th year option.

Nathan Swartz

Not sure why everyone is lumping him in to a category: bench or starter. It’s both, bench in year one, starter in 2 and beyond. I think the Pirates really like his potential. They signed him to be bench help this year and use this year as a test phase to see if he could be more. If he’s solid, great, they’ve got options. If not, they’ve got a versatile bench guy for the near future.
For all we know, there could be incentives/options in the contract, like a team buyout after year 2.

Todd Kemmerer

I get the feeling maybe he is Harrison of last yr no set position but want to get him 450 at bats. Also I see him having this yr as a tryout for next yr especially the Pedro and Neil walker situation. On a lesser extent mercer . also who knows what Harrison is . is he the bench player of 2013 or all-star type and game changer of 2014 .. I say in the middle with 275 avg and 16 hrs..


Why Mercer ? There aren’t all that many 2 WAR SS floating around these days.


Because there are even less 3 WAR shortstops.

Brian Bernard

Anything is possible, but Kang could – emphasis on could – be an impact player similar to the cuban players signed over the past two years – so why would you want to trade an impact player for this offense?
He IMO is likely to be similar to Javier Baez with the Cubs as he transistions to MLB. I believe he will be an important part of the team as soon as this year – although I think it may take an injury or something else to give him his shot – similar to how Josh got his shot last year.
Our rotation may not be the best in MLB but I believe it’s pretty darn strong, and with depth coming. Kingham IMO may not be the first to crack the starting five, but I bet he’s not far down the list. We have a STUD in Cole a #1 – a chance to win any game. When healthy an elite LHSP in Liriano, a strong #3 veteran with motivation in AJ. If Worley continues his elite command of the zone, then he’s a lock as a #4 who can give you 200. As for the fifth starter I think Locke can be as good as about anybody’s number 5 – with the potential for someone like Morton, Taillon, Kingham to simply out permorm him and take that spot. Adding another arm muddies the water, and isn’t worth hurting the offense or the future (ie Bell, Hanson).
If any moves need made I’d wait to see how the season progresses and address issues as they arise.


The orginization had better hope he isn’t similar to Baez. That strikeout rate is totally unsustainable.


Tim: Welcome back? If he signs for what has been rumored to be $5 mil per year for 4 years, could we be signing him as a AAA player? If not, where? I know it is terribly difficult to predict transitioning his play to the level of MLB, but what did the Pirates have in mind when they put money out just for the right to negotiate for Kang’s services? Could this be a part of a much larger play to trade for a top-of-the-Rotation SP with a team that needs a Shortstop?


Can you really get a good gauge of his ability if he’s playing sporadically at different positions while trying to cope with a new culture, on and off the field? Wouldn’t a little time in Indy be useful in transitioning him to the Majors?

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