Jung Ho Kang Signs Back With Pirates

Free Agent Infielder Gets A One-Year Contract

Eric Hagman
November 08, 2018 - 9:46 am
Pirates Infielder Jung Ho Kang

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - The Pirates will bring back infielder Jung Ho Kang after declining his $5.5 million option for 2019 last week. General Manager Neal Huntington announced Thursday that Kang was signed to a one-year contract.  The deal is worth $3 million, according to the Post-Gazette.

Kang played in only three games for the Pirates the past two seasons because of injuries and visa issues related to three DUI arrests in his native South Korea.  He went 2-for-6 in those games in September after returning from the MLB restricted list and the disabled list.  Career-wise with the Pirates, the 31-year-old infielder has a .274 average and 36 home runs in 232 games.

Related: Pirates Decline 2019 Options For Harrison; Kang

"We appreciate Jung Ho's hard work to get back to being a productive Major League player, while continuing to handle himself appropriately off the field," Huntington said. "We feel that bringing Jung Ho back in 2019 will make us better as he will have the ability to make a positive impact on our lineup."

If Kang regains his hitting form of 2015 and 2016, he will provide the Pirates with a much-needed right-handed power bat.  At the very least, he would likely platoon at third base with left-handed hitting Colin Moran.

In a video posted to the Pirates Twitter account, Kang apologized to fans and promised to do his best to “become a better person on and off the field.”

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