According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the Pirates have agreed to a four-year contract with Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.
The deal is believed to be worth around $16 million and it will also carry an option for the 2019 season. Kang is scheduled to take his official pre-signing physical this Thursday in Pittsburgh. The 27-year-old batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization and could carry significant fantasy value if even a third of that power successfully translates to MLB competition. Jordy Mercer, the Pirates' starting shortstop in 2014, will presumably move into a reserve role in 2015. Pittsburgh also paid a $5,002,015 posting fee for Kang, so the total commitment is around $21 million.
Jung-ho Kang is scheduled to undergo a physical for the Pirates on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Which likely means the two sides have already agreed to the parameters of a major league contract. The belief is that it'll be a four-year deal worth around $5 million annually. Kang batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization and would presumably take over as the Bucs' starting shortstop, pushing Jordy Mercer to the bench. Pittsburgh paid a $5,002,015 posting fee in December for Kang's exclusive negotiating rights.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are "moving close to a deal" with Jung-Ho Kang that's expected to be for four years.
The financials of the deal aren't known, but Kang was reportedly looking for about $5 million a year, with the Pirates also being responsible for a $5.002015 million posting fee. If they're willing to fork over that kind of dough, you've got to believe Pittsburgh views Kang as the starter at shortstop over Jordy Mercer. There's been doubt expressed that he can handle the position defensively, but Kang's bat is certainly intriguing. He hit .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Alan Nero, the agent for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he's confident about working out a deal with the Pirates.
Pittsburgh won exclusive negotiating rights to Kang in late December by entering the highest posting fee bid, $5,002,015. The two sides have about two more weeks to figure out an actual major league contract. "At this point, I feel confident we’ll come to an agreement," Nero told the Post-Gazette. "The process has been very positive. [Pirates GM Neal Huntington] has tried very hard to basically come to the table with an offer." Kang, 27, batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. He could eventually take over at short for Jordy Mercer, who struggled mightily in 2014.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Pirates won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-Ho Kang.
Pittsburgh's front office now has exclusive negotiating rights to attempt to work out a major league contract with Kang. There have been questions raised about the 27-year-old's defensive capabilities, especially at the shortstop position, but Kang batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games this past season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. Jordy Mercer hit .255/.305/.387 in 2014 as the Bucs' primary starter at short.
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 12:38:00 PM
Phillies selected LHP Andy Oliver from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.
Oliver getting selected comes as a pretty big surprise. The former Tigers prospect reached the majors in 2010, going 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts. The Pirates picked him up in the minor deal in 2012, but he failed to progress and was dropped from the 40-man last spring. Converted into a reliever last season, he had a 2.53 ERA in 64 innings in Triple-A, with 85 strikeouts and a whopping 47 walks. In 2013, he walked 112 in 124 1/3 innings as a starter. The stuff is there for him to be a useful reliever if he could ever throw strikes, but his control has been disastrous for years.
Thu, Dec 11, 2014 01:24:00 PM
Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reports that the Pirates have acquired left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is confirming the news and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez is headed to Philly in return. Bastardo had been connected recently to the Red Sox, but the Bucs apparently jumped in with the better offer. The southpaw struck out 81 batters in 64 innings this past season for Philadelphia and owns a cool 3.29 ERA since the beginning of the 2013 campaign.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 05:44:00 PM
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Pirates are pursuing a trade for Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo.
The Phillies have also discussed a deal with the Red Sox, who are reportedly offering infield prospect Sean Coyle in return. Salisbury writes that the market for Bastardo is "heating up," so the Phillies should be able to get an interesting piece in a trade.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 01:56:00 PM
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles had preliminary discussions with the Pirates about a Brian Matusz-for-Travis Snider swap.
However, there hasn't been much progress in talks. Now that Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz have signed elsewhere, the Orioles are monitoring the free agent and trade market for outfielders. Michael Morse, Delmon Young, and the Phillies' Marlon Byrd have been mentioned as possibilities.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 01:35:00 PM
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Pat Neshek is in "serious talks" with three teams and a resolution is expected soon.
The Astros, who have been linked to every major reliever, are one of them. Neshek stumbled a bit down the stretch this past season, but still finished with an outstanding 1.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 68/9 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings. The Pirates have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 08:41:00 AM
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates "like" free agent Pat Neshek.
Neshek faded at the end of his impressive 2014 in St. Louis, but he still wound up with a sparkling 1.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 68/9 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 total innings. The 34-year-old right-hander is likely looking to cash in big after watching Andrew Miller sign a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees and David Robertson land a four-year, $46 million deal from the White Sox.
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 02:17:00 PM
According to MLB.com's Tom Singer, the Pirates aren't ruling out a reunion with A.J. Burnett.
Burnett declined a $12.75 million player option with the Phillies because he wants to pitch for a contender in 2015, and the last time he was in the postseason was with Pittsburgh. The 37-year-old right-hander posted an ugly 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 213 2/3 innings this past season for Philadelphia and obviously isn't too concerned about money, so he should come pretty cheap.
Thu, Nov 13, 2014 10:29:00 AM
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates have acquired reliever John Axford from the Indians.
No word yet on what the Indians will receive in return. Axford began the year in the closer role with Cleveland, but has dropped in the pecking order since the early part of May. His ERA was down to 3.14 for the year before he gave up a grand slam against the Yankees on August 8. He could be a useful mid-to-late inning option down the stretch.
Thu, Aug 14, 2014 04:20:00 PM
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Yankees are making a late run at David Price.
But the Daily News beat writer sees it as "unlikely" that the Yanks will match the Rays' lofty asking price and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says there's "no chance" it'll happen. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported an hour ago that Tampa Bay is "definitely" going to move its ace left-hander by the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, but the clock is ticking. The Tigers, Dodgers, Mariners, and Pirates are among the other clubs with reported interest. Detroit may be the front-runner right now.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 03:12:00 PM
The Cardinals and Pirates are the two teams "pushing hardest" for Jon Lester, sources tell FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi.
Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers remain involved as well. The Cardinals made a move for a starter on Wednesday, acquiring Justin Masterson from the Indians, but they remain interested in Lester as more impactful starter to pair with Adam Wainwright. Lester would immediately become the Pirates' ace down the stretch. Lester is a free agent after the season.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 12:01:00 AM
A source tells FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the Royals, Pirates, Marlins "and others" are in on Ian Kennedy.
Rosenthal also notes the right-hander isn't a certainty to be dealt at the deadline. The Padres would have incentive to hold onto him, as Kennedy still has another year of arbitration before becoming a free agent. Still, he's having a great year and the Padres would likely be better dealing him for players who will be peaking closer to when they're ready to contend. Stay tuned.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 06:28:00 PM
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Red Sox are asking for teams' best prospects in trade talks for Andrew Miller.
As Crasnick notes, they'll surely have to drop their demands in order to get anything done. Miller is having a fantastic season, posting a 2.40 ERA and 66/13 K/BB ratio over 41 1/3 innings, but clubs aren't going to surrender top talent for him. The Braves, Pirates and Royals have all been connected to the lefty reliever.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 12:03:00 PM
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox have told teams that it will require "at least two elite-level prospects" to acquire Jon Lester.
It's a hefty price to pay for a two-month rental, but you can't blame the Red Sox for asking for that haul, especially when it looks like David Price might not be dealt. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman has listed the Dodgers and the Cardinals as the favorites for Lester, and Lauber has been told by industry insiders that the Dodgers are the "front-runner." The Pirates and A's are lurking in the background.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 09:22:00 AM
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers and Cardinals "appear to be the teams most aggressively competing" for Jon Lester and David Price.
Lester is virtually certain to get moved after being scratched from Wednesday's scheduled start, while Price's status is more up the air with the Rays back in the playoff hunt. Heyman writes that the Pirates "are still involved to some degree on the Lester front, but they are reluctant to surrender top prospects for a rental, seeming to place them third in the derby at the moment." The A's have also been mentioned as a potential suitor for Lester, but it appears that they may have fallen back from the pack, as well. It could be an interesting battle between the Dodgers and Cardinals for Lester and perhaps Price, as they both have the prospects to deal and the room to add payroll.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 08:58:00 AM
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Rockies are expected to hang on to LaTroy Hawkins.
Hawkins is 41 and would have some value on a contending team in a middle relief role, but the Rockies like his veteran presence and plan to pick up his $2.25 million club option for 2015. Hawkins has saved 17-of-18 chances this season while sporting a 3.09 ERA. The Pirates and a couple other clubs had expressed interest.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 12:47:00 AM