The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed infielder Jung Ho Kang to a one-year deal. There is no word yet on the money involved.
We do know, however, that it’ll be less than $5.5 million, as that was the amount of the option that the Pirates had on Kang for 2018 but declined at the end of the season. Doing so made sense, of course, as Kang has missed nearly two full years after a DUI arrest in December 2016 led to visa issues keeping him from returning to the United States. He did make it back this past season and rehabbed in the minors for 16 games before an injury cut that short.
The layoff notwithstanding, Kang could certainly feature prominently in the Pirates’ 2018 plans, especially given that they are likely parting ways with infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer. As it is, Kang would seem to fit best at third base, possibly as platoon partner with Colin Moran.
Mariners starter Félix Hernández pitched well enough for a win on Wednesday afternoon, but Padres starter Chris Paddack was just a little bit better. Hernández allowed one run on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in the Mariners’ 1-0 loss. Paddack tossed seven scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts.
With eight strikeouts on the day, Hernández passed Don Drysdale to move into 36th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeouts leaderboard at 2,488. Max Scherzer currently sits in 35th place at 2,493. Christy Mathewson is Hernández’s next target at 2,507.
On the season, Hernández is now 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ratio across 25 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old had a rough 2017 and ’18, but the first-place Mariners are hoping he has something left in the tank. Hernández is earning $27 million this season and can become a free agent after the season.