Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, who in 117 games hit 40 home runs in the VERY hitter-friendly* Korean Baseball Organization in 2014, was posted today as expected.
Jung-Ho Kang posted, MLB teams have 4 days to make bid. As of tonight #Mets sitll “undecided,” on if they will bid, says Sandy Alderson
— Kristie Ackert (@Ackert_NYDN) December 15, 2014
Here’s a summary of the posting process from MLB Daily Dish:
As Ackert notes, clubs will have four days to post bids on Kang, with bidding ending at 5 PM EST on Friday. She also adds that many believe the posting fee will fall between $5 and $15 million, with Kang’s camp seeking a contract in the $24 million range, so it could ultimately take around $40 million to land him … As the KBO still abides by the older posting system no longer installed in Japan, the winning bidder will have 30 days to negotiate with Kang, or else he will have to return to Korea for at least one more season.
The Mets, A’s and Giants have all shown interest, according to Jon Heyman. This is a system where teams submit blind bids, and the winning bid gets exclusive negotiating rights. So it should come as a surprise to no one that teams are doing their best to make it look like they aren’t interested. We’ve heard from Sandy Alderson.
Beane says report that the A’s are among teams with interest in Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang is inaccurate. — Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) December 9, 2014
Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans on whether they’ve been on contact and how to evaluate the 2014 KBO MVP: “We’ve spoken with the agent, we’ve seen him multiple times. I think that any time a player’s coming from Korea, there’s an evaluation process that is projected performance at the big league level. Hard to explain or predict what a player from Korea is going to do against major league pitching, and that’s one of the nuances. And that does create some varied opinions around the game in terms of what kind of player this is, and at some level, which position he’s best suited for. Not sure where the market sits today, but we’re certainly aware of the player and cognizant of the option to pursue.”
Evans on which position he’d play: “I think for any given club, depending on the need, you’re really at some level trying to project the bat and it depends on what club is pursuing, where they may want to try to put him, at any one of the three infield spots. It’s really about projecting the bat, though”
Evans on the Giants’ interest level: “I don’t want to over-characterize anything specific relative to free agents, because they have a market that they’re having to sort through. We’re not commenting on who we’re actively pursuing, because I want to be sensitive to the business at hand, as well as the market that guys are in the middle of. He’s a guy that we’re aware of and cognizant of what he could bring, but there are some questions as to how he could fit.”
Long story short …
Bobby Evans: Jung Ho Kang’s evaluations are all over the map and it “would be difficult” to make a major investment in him given that risk.
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) December 10, 2014
If the Giants aren’t going to submit a bid, it’s hard to know if they plan on doing anything this offseason to remedy their third base situation.
Chase Headley and Jed Lowrie are both off the market as of today. Headley re-signed with the Yankees for four years and $52 million. Lowrie, the guy I predicted the Giants would sign (because I’m an idiot — Alex Rios got a one-year, $11 million deal with the Royals today, too), agreed to a three-year deal with the Astros for $23 million guaranteed that includes a club option for a fourth year. Apparently Lowrie wanted to play shortstop, an opportunity the Giants wouldn’t have been able to provide.
Anyway, the Giants still need a third baseman, and the best stateside options are Asdrubal Cabrera (who reportedly would rather play shortstop or second base than third base) and, er, Emilio Bonifacio? Kelly Johnson? Chone Figgins? ARRRGGGHHHHH
Hmmm. Joe Panik could move to third, a position he never played in the minors. Or, the Giants could trade for a third baseman. And there’s Marco Scutaro, who might play baseball again someday … you never know!
As for who the Giants will finish behind in the bidding, the A’s would probably look at Jung-Ho Kang as a shortstop, as their top post-Lowrie options at the position appear to be Nick Punto and Marcus Semien. The Mets’ top shortstops are Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada, so Alderson probably should be interested in Kang unless he’s planning on making a big offer to Stephen Drew or something.
Here’s a video — the guy does seem to hit baseballs really far.
* Brett Pill hit 19 home runs in 92 games last year for the Kia Tigers.