Monday December 22nd, 2014

The Pittsburgh Pirates have won the bidding to negotiate a contract with Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

The Pirates reportedly won with a bid of more than $5 million for Kang, who is the first Korean position player ever to be posted. The Pirates will now have 30 days to agree to a contract or he will return to the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization. If the Pirates do not sign him, they will not have to pay the $5 million fee.

Kang, 27, has played nine seasons in the KBO and has a career .298 batting average with 139 home runs and 545 RBIs. He hit 40 home runs in 2014 while driving in 117 runs with a .356 batting average.

• CORCORAN: Padres continue wild overhaul

Two years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers bid nearly $26 million to negotiate with pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, the most ever for a Korean player.

Jordy Mercer started at shortstop last season for the Pirates. In 149 games, he batted .255 with 12 home runs and 55 RBIs.

The Pirates finished second in the NL Central last season with an 88-74 record. They lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game.

• Free agent tracker: Keep up to date with the latest moves

- Paul Palladino

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