Korean star infielder Jung-ho Kang arrived in Pittsburgh Wednesday evening to meet with team officials and will take a physical Thursday and finalize his contract with the Pirates, which will be a 4 year contract worth $16 million with a fifth year option that will take the total value of the contract over $20 million.
The Pirates total investment for Kang will be over $21 million as they made a $5.02 million posting fee to acquire exclusive negotiating rights for Kang.
Pirates officials have been mum on where the team envisions Kang playing, but it will be in the big leagues and the power hitting infielder has his sights set on playing shortstop.
“If I get an opportunity to play consistently, I think I can play better than Mercer,” Kang told the Yonhap News Agency. “I think I’ll have to talk to the team about my position, but I’d like to play shortstop.”
Kang last year hit .356 with 40 home runs. He posted a league best 1.198 on-base/slugging percentage.
Despite being such an unknown on how his ability at the plate will translate to the Majors, it’s a good thing Kang is coming in with confidence.
Jordy Mercer in comments to Tribune-Review is approaching the likely competition in the right way.
“It’s good to see he’s got confidence coming in,” Mercer said. “All of us can use that, for sure. If we all set our sights on one goal and have confidence in our ability, the sky is the limit for this team. So it’s exciting to see it.”