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Notes: Could Byung-Ho Park be a fit for the Pirates next offseason?

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Some notes for a cold Thursday:

-P- Jung-Ho Kang, who's about to become the first position player to make the leap from the KBO to the majors, reiterates that he hopes to create opportunities for other players from Korea.

"I feel a little bit of pressure," Kang said through an interpreter. "But I know that if I do well, more Korean players will come here. So while I feel pressure, I'm also very excited about opening the market here for Korean players."

Kang's teammate Byung-Ho Park, a first baseman and two-time KBO MVP who hit 52 home runs with Nexen last year, could sign with an MLB team next offseason. The 28-year-old has already attracted attention from several teams and has hired Kang's agent. With first base a perennial problem for the Pirates and with the Bucs establishing themselves as bidders for top Korean players, you might think someone like Park would be a natural fit. Maybe he would be, but he's right-handed and strikes out even more than Kang does. He also doesn't have Kang's positional value. The Pirates' need for a first baseman next winter will also depend, obviously, on what Pedro Alvarez and Josh Bell do this year.

-P- Francisco Rodriguez remains on the free agent market, and he's reportedly looking for $10 million for the coming year. That would sound insane to me even if Spring Training weren't already upon us. Rodriguez is still effective, but he's 33 and nowhere near as good as he was several years ago, and he's lost velocity to the point that he's a soft-tosser by closer standards.

-P- Grant Brisbee's sort-of-NSFW collection of handwritten MLB apology letters made me laugh. The Ryan Howard one is especially good.