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Pirates win bid process for Jung-Ho Kang

South Korea outfielder Lee Jin-Young, left, congratulates infielder

South Korea outfielder Lee Jin-Young, left, congratulates infielder Jung-Ho Kang in the eighth inning of their World Baseball Classic first round game at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan, March 5, 2013. Photo Credit: AP / Wally Santana

Major League Baseball announced Monday that the Pirates submitted the winning bid for Jung-Ho Kang, the hard-hitting Korean Baseball Organization shortstop.

Kang, who hit .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBIs in 117 games with the Nexen Heroes, garnered a bid of $5,002,015, according to published reports.

The Pirates, who submitted their bid before the Friday afternoon deadline, will have 30 days to come to an agreement with the 27-year-old Kang. If the parties, including Nexen, cannot come to an agreement, the Pirates will get their posting fee back and Kang will return to his Korean team. Nexen then would have to wait until next year to post Kang again.

The Mets hope to improve upon their current shortstop, Wilmer Flores, but sources told Newsday that there were internal concerns about Kang's defense and whether he would be able to produce against stronger American pitching. A source said last week that the Mets did not submit a bid by the deadline.

The Pirates have a less pressing situation in their infield thanks to shortstop Jordy Mercer, who earned the starting role last season.

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