21 weeks until Opening Day…
Recent Stuff on the Blog
Byung-Ho Park Bidding
The big baseball news of the day revolves around Korean slugging first baseman Byung-Ho Park. A former teammate of Jung-Ho Kang with the Korean Baseball Organization’s Nexen Heroes, Park looked to follow in the current Pirate’s footsteps and make the jump to Major League Baseball this winter. With gaudy numbers in the hitter-friendly KBO (.343/.436/.714 with 53 HR in 2015), Park’s posting had been hyped for some time, and the Pirates were naturally connected by way of both Kang and their yearly revolving door at 1B. I didn’t want to get my hopes up for multiple reasons, mostly because the Korean posting system is a crapshoot (still a blind bid where the highest bidder gets to negotiate a contract with the player; no back-and-forth “bidding war”) and the Pirates have Josh Bell waiting in the wings for first base, most likely to be in Pittsburgh at some point in 2016.
Park’s bidding opened last week and ended on Friday. For whatever reason, the winning bidder was not to be announced until today (Monday), though it was reported that the winning bid was $12.85 million and teams slowly began to eliminate themselves through the media. By last night, only handful of teams had yet to be cut by process of elimination, including the tight-lipped Pirates.
Finally, former MLB/KBO pitcher C.J. Nitkowski dropped an early-morning Twitter bomb:
But… not so fast. It was too good to be true. Buster Olney shot down Nitkowski’s claim shortly after 8:00 am:
Heard this morning that the Pirates did NOT win the bidding for Byung-ho Park. Developing…
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 9, 2015