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Pirates don't win bid for Byung-Ho Park

Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

UPDATE: The Twins have reportedly won the bidding.

The Pirates are not the team that won the right to negotiate with Korean first baseman Byung-Ho Park, Buster Olney tweets. Of course, none of this is certain at this point -- yesterday, the Athletics were reported to be out, but Olney says some around the game believe the A's did win the bidding. All the information we've gotten about the bidding has come via process of elimination. Whatever happens with Park, it wouldn't be a surprise if it contradicted at least one of the millions of little details that have been reported.

In any case, if the Pirates don't win the bidding, that won't surprise me. They do need a first baseman right now, and it would be cool to reunite Jung-Ho Kang with his Nexen Heroes teammate after Kang's brilliant rookie season. But Park would require a significant commitment to sign, and the Bucs have a top first base prospect available in Josh Bell who's pretty close to being big-league ready.

Also, there's at least some concern that Park's strikeout-heavy style won't play as well in the U.S. as Kang's style did. Park's power looks incredible, and there are way too few data points on players making the jump from the KBO to MLB to say with any certainty that he won't be a star in the states. But I could also see him hitting for relatively low averages and being modestly disappointing, particularly in comparison to Kang. There's also the fact that Kang's success is going to make Park more expensive. If the Bucs signed Park, I'd be excited, and I like the idea of them taking an obvious, decisive step to fix a problem position. But I can also see lots of little reasons for them not to do so right now.