Last winter, when the Pittsburgh Pirates signed 27-year-old Jung Ho Kang away from the Korean Baseball Organization, they paid a posting fee of $5 million to his former team and gave him a four-year, $11 million deal. However, the Pittsburgh press was cynical about his signing, although the shortstop had put up a .739 slugging percentage the year before. When Kang had come to the plate just 27 times in spring training, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook lamented that Kang would have to start the regular MLB betting season in the lineup because of the team’s contract commitment – not because of Kang’s performance. Of course, four years and $16 million in money is a paltry sum given what teams are giving to other players.
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