Pirates Decline Options on Josh Harrison and Jung Ho Kang

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have declined the $10.5 M club option for Josh Harrison for 2019, buying out that option for $1 M. They also bought out Jung Ho Kang’s 2019 option for $250,000. Both players are now free agents.

The Harrison move was expected, as the 31-year-old second baseman hit .250/.293/.363 in 97 games in 2018. He posted an 0.3 WAR this year, his lowest since he was a bench player back in 2013, when he played just 60 games.

There was a possibility that the option for Kang would be picked up, though it was more likely that they would deny the option and try to bring him back for 2019 at a lower salary. His 2019 option salary was $5,500,000, which would have been a bargain at his old production, but Kang has played just a few Major League games in the last two seasons due to legal troubles.

Tim Williams posted articles on the present and future at both second base and third base, showing how the Pirates were set up for each spot.