Report: Pirates, Kang nearing deal

The Pirates are reportedly close to officially signing Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the two sides are “moving close to a deal,” which is expected to be for four years, as the Jan. 20 deadline approaches. The Pirates already spent $5 million as a fee to negotiate with Kang and his agent, Alan Nero.

Nero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday that he was “confident we’ll come to an agreement” on Kang, the power-hitting 27-year-old reportedly seeking a contract worth $5 million annually.

Kang hit 40 homers and drove in 117 runs in 117 games while batting .356 with a 1.198 OPS for the Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization last year.

It’s still unclear where Kang will fit in with Pittsburgh if the two sides complete a deal, as MLB.com’s Tom Singer recently considered their options.

Kang could back up Josh Harrison at third base, Jordy Mercer at shortstop and Neil Walker at second, and he could be a part of the mix at first base.

-Adam Berry

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