Pirates Rumors: Jung Ho Kang Re-Signs on 1-Year ContractNovember 8, 2018
The Pittsburgh Pirates maintained some depth in the infield by agreeing to a deal with third baseman Jung Ho Kang.
Per MLB.com's Adam Berry, Kang re-signed with the Pirates on a one-year contract after he played just three games during the 2018 season.
Kang has had off-field issues that have limited him to just three games since the start of 2017. He was arrested and charged with fleeing the scene of a DUI accident in his native South Korea.
The Seoul Central District Court issued Kang a two-year suspended prison sentence in March 2017, which made him unable to obtain a work visa. His appeal was upheld that May, making him ineligible to work in the United States. The Pirates placed him on the restricted list.
Kang was able to secure a work visa and cleared to return to the Pirates last April. He issued a statement about the situation, via Berry:
"After a long, painful process, I am excited to have a chance to return to the game that I have missed so much. My focus is first on becoming the best person that I can be. Secondly, I look forward to getting to Pirate City and demonstrating that I am committed to doing whatever I can to get back to Pittsburgh and help the Pirates win. I will not disappoint anyone anymore."
Kang missed time last season after undergoing wrist surgery in August. The 31-year-old has hit .274/.355/.482 in 232 career games with the Pirates.
The Pirates will likely use Kang, who has a .737 career OPS against left-handed pitching, in a platoon at third base with Colin Moran (.503 OPS vs. left-handed pitching in 2018).