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Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Jung Ho Kang for 2019

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed INF Jung HO Kang to a one-year contract for the 2019 season.

UPDATE: The Pirates will pay Kang $3 million in base salary, with $2.5 million available in incentives:

Should he hit all of those escalators, the $5.5 million total salary would be equal to what Kang would have made on his previous deal.

In a move that many expected, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 3B Jung Ho Kang to a one-year pact for the 2019 season.

From the team’s official release:

The Pittsburgh Pirates today signed free agent infielder Jung Ho Kang to a one-year contract for the 2019 season. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

“We appreciate Jung Ho’s hard work to get back to being a productive Major League player, while continuing to handle himself appropriately off the field,” said Huntington. “We feel that bringing Jung Ho back in 2019 will make us better as he will have the ability to make a positive impact on our lineup. Competition and options are important to any organization and this signing provides us with both.”

The 31-year-old Kang went 2-for-6 in three games with the Pirates this past September after returning from the MLB Restricted List and then the Disabled List.

Kang played nine seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization (2006-2014) before signing a four-year contract with the Pirates on January 16, 2015.

He finished third in the voting for N.L. Rookie-of-the-Year in 2015 after hitting .287 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI in 126 games. He hit .255 with 21 homers and 62 RBI in 103 games in 2016.

Bucs Dugout will have more analysis on this move forthcoming.