Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang has officially been posted by the Korean Baseball Organization, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal originally reported that Kang was set to be posted today, while CBS Sports' Jon Heyman added that the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and New York Mets have been among the clubs to express interest in the 2014 KBO MVP.
The 27-year-old Kang erupted in 2014 to hit .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI. For his career, he has hit .298/.383/.504 in nine professional seasons. Of course, the KBO is generally known to be favorable to hitters, so it's doubtful that Kang can post numbers stateside anywhere close to what he did in Korea. There are also concerns regarding how much power Kang can hit for at the major league level, as well as whether or not he will be able to stay at shortstop, or be forced to move to the keystone.
As Ackert notes, clubs will have four days to post bids on Kang, with bidding ending at 5 PM EST on Friday. She also adds that many believe the posting fee will fall between $5 and $15 million, with Kang's camp seeking a contract in the $24 million range, so it could ultimately take around $40 million to land him. Of course, with Jed Lowrie now off the board, and Alexei Ramirez unlikely to be traded, there is a great dearth of quality shortstops still available, potentially pushing up Kang's price.
The Mets and A's would figure to look at Kang as a shortstop option, while the Giants would probably view him as a third baseman with Joe Panik slated to play second next season, and Brandon Crawford entrenched at short. San Francisco could also move Panik to third and slot Kang in at second.
The Mets have been tied to numerous shortstops this offseason, though they may be content with entering the season with Wilmer Flores starting at the position. Per Ackert, New York is internally split on Kang, and are "undecided" on whether or not they will place a bid.
As the KBO still abides by the older posting system no longer installed in Japan, the winning bidder will have 30 days to negotiate with Kang, or else he will have to return to Korea for at least one more season.