Nick Johnson set for another wrist surgery

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No details yet, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday that Nick Johnson would require a second surgery on his right wrist, presumably ending his season.
The Yankees weren’t expecting the slow healing Johnson back in September anyway. Signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract over the winter, Johnson lasted barely more than a month before landing on the DL with what was called an inflamed tendon. He was hitting .167/.388/.306 in 72 at-bats at the time.
Johnson’s contract includes a $5.5 million mutual option for 2011, but that won’t be exercised. He might have to accept a minor league contract in order to extend his career. Johnson has been limited to 195 games over the past four seasons by various injuries. It was also a right wrist problem that sidetracked him in 2008.

Jung Ho Kang granted work visa to re-enter the U.S.

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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been granted a work visa and will soon rejoin the Pirates. Kang had previously not been allowed to enter the U.S. after he was arrested for his third DUI in Seoul in December 2016.

There was some thought that Kang wouldn’t ever play for the Pirates again, but things have worked out in his favor. It will still likely be a while until he actually appears in a major league game, as he will need to get back into game shape and up to game speed.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, “After a lengthy process, we are pleased that Jung Ho has been allowed to re-enter the United States. We are encouraged by the steps that Jung Ho has taken to date and are hopeful that having the games he loves taken away from him for more than a year has driven home the reality that he must make better life decisions as we move forward together.

As we have communicated to him throughout this process, we will work to provide Jung Ho with the resources and support necessary for him to meet the high expectations that we have for him as a member of our organization and our community.”

The Pirates signed Kang as an international free agent out of South Korea to a four-year, $11 million contract in January 2015. If he were to appear in the majors this season, he would earn a prorated $3 million. He has a club option for next season worth $5.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.