Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.
Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.
Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that Orioles OF/DH Mark Trumbo will not travel with the team to Toronto and will instead return to Baltimore to have an MRI on his right knee. Trumbo will likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list, which will open up a spot for outfielder Adam Jones, who was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday, on the 25-man roster.
Trumbo, 32, has been bothered by his right knee for most of the season. The pain apparently intensified over the weekend. Trumbo had received a platelet-rich plasma injection last Monday.
Despite the ailing knee, Trumbo has posted decent numbers this season, batting .261/.313/.452 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 358 plate appearances. He is under contract with the Orioles for one more year, earning $13.5 million in 2019.