Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang has been the talk of the baseball world on Saturday, less than 24 hours after his team, the Nexen Heroes, announced that they would accept a bid of $5,002,015 from a major-league team and allow him to negotiate with the highest bidder. Nexen did not reveal the high-bidding major league team, but we can narrow it down using process of elimination from a series of reports on Saturday.
Based on reports, these teams were not the high-bidder for Kang: the Angels, Mets, Padres, Rays, Twins, Athletics, Giants, Yankees, Braves, Blue Jays, Orioles or Dodgers. That leaves eighteen teams as potential destinations, though some can be eliminated due to their lack of need at the shortstop position.
Though the winning team is still unknown, one industry source with knowledge of Korea predicted that the Phillies or Nationals could be the frontrunners at this point. Philadelphia has focused some scouting on Kang in the recent past, and has an opening in the middle infield after trading Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers during the Winter Meetings.
Out of the teams who are still in the running, the Pirates and White Sox make sense as teams who may be looking to add some depth in the middle-infield this winter. But realistically, the secrecy and surprising nature of the international market could lead to Kang ending up with any of the eighteen remaining teams.