Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang might never come back to Major League Baseball as he still can’t get a work visa after admitting guilt and receiving a deferred prison sentence for a 2016 DUI in South Korea, Pirates GM Neal Huntington told MLB.com Sunday. Kang has been charged with three DUIs in Korea since 2009.
“That’s been an unfortunate reality from the outset that he may never get a visa again,” Huntington said Sunday. “We worked the process, worked the process again and have not gotten a different result. We’ll attack it in different ways again the next time through and hope there is a different outcome. We do need to begin to prepare as if he’s not coming back.”
Kang accumulated 6.4 WAR in 229 games with the Pirates. He has two seasons of service time, so if he does return next season, he will be under club control until 2021. The Pirates, however, don’t appear to be holding their breath. “We do need to begin to prepare as if he’s not coming back,” Huntington said.