The Pirates have watched Jung Ho Kang play winter ball, but they still don't know if they'll see him in Pittsburgh next year. While Andrew McCutchen's status is the most intriguing plotline in Pittsburgh's offseason, few players could swing the Pirates' fortunes for next season like Kang. The 30-year-old third baseman remains on the restricted list, unpaid and unable to rejoin the Pirates following a DUI arrest last December in his native South Korea. Kang followed a 4-WAR debut in 2015 by slugging 21 homers in 103 games in '16. Then came the DUI charge, revealed to be his third since 2009, and a suspended jail sentence that has prevented him from acquiring a work visa to enter the United States. Kang is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, where he hit .114 with a .383 OPS and 26 strikeouts in his first 20 games. The Pirates remain prepared for the possibility that Kang won't return, but they are still hopeful. For a reasonable $3 million, Kang would instantly add power to a lineup that ranked 29th in home runs and slugging percentage this year.
Bucs open-minded about Kang returning in '18
MLB.com | Nov 15