Pirates to negotiate with SS Kang

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Monday, December 22, 2014

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have won the rights to negotiate with South Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

Pittsburgh has a 30-day window to sign the 27-year-old, who hit .354 with 39 homers last season for the Nexen Heroes while being named the MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization.

"The Pirates are pleased to have secured the opportunity to attempt to add Kang, Jung Ho to our system and look forward to commencing discussions with the player and his representative in an effort to make that happen," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

If the Pirates reach an agreement with Kang, the Nexen Heroes would receive the posting fee for Kang's rights, reported to be $5,002,015 by Yonhap News Agency.

If the two sides don't come to terms, Kang's rights would remain with the Heroes.

The Pirates are searching for depth in the middle infield behind second baseman Neil Walker and shortstop Jordy Mercer.

Major League Baseball announced Monday that Pittsburgh submitted the high bid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.