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Jung Ho Kang likely to never play for the Pirates again


Last December, Jung Ho Kang crashed a BMW into a guard rail and fled the scene. He reportedly had a blood alcohol level at 0.084 percent, which was over South Korea’s legal limit of 0.05 percent. It was his third drunk driving offense in Korea and led to an eight month suspended sentence. It also led to him being denied a visa to come to the United States to play baseball.

The visa process is still ongoing but the Pirates seem to be moving on. Yesterday, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said you can “pretty much eliminate the thought” of Kang returning this season. Huntington further acknowledged that Kang’s career with the Pirates may be over.

Kang, 30, hit .273/.355/.483 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI in two seasons in Pittsburgh. That’s good, but the DUI offenses and an investigation into an alleged sexual assault in Chicago in 2016 have cast a cloud over his career. It would be understandable if the Pirates chose to wash their hands of him.

Reds claim Kennys Vargas off waivers from Twins

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The Twins’ Dustin Morse announced on Thursday that the Reds claimed first baseman Kennys Vargas off waivers. The Twins had designated him for assignment last Friday.

Vargas was a man without a spot on the Twins’ roster as he has only played first base and DH, but the club has Joe Mauer and Logan Morrison for those spots. The Reds aren’t much better as Joey Votto lays claim to first base and there is no DH in the National League. Vargas switch-hits and has some power, so he will presumably provide that off the bench for the Reds.

Across parts of four seasons in the majors, Vargas has hit .252/.311/.437 with 35 home runs and 116 RBI in 859 plate appearances.