The Pirates will decline their club option over infielder Josh Harrison, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). Likewise, infielder Jung Ho Kang is heading to free agency, MLB.com’s Adam Berry tweets.
Rather than a $10.5MM payday, Harrison will take a $1MM buyout and head onto the open market. Kang, meanwhile, receive $250K on his way out the door after the team passed on a chance to keep him for $5.5MM.
The 31-year-old Harrison is renowned for his versatility and at his best can deliver value in all facets of the game. Unfortunately, his hitting has never returned to the levels he showed in a breakout 2014 season. Last year, he carried only a .250/.293/.363 slash. While he’s sure to secure a MLB job somewhere, the $10.5MM price tag was clearly too steep.
As for Kang, also 31, it seems there’s still a possibility of a reunion with the Pittsburgh organization. Otherwise, his outlook is murky. He has done nothing but hit in the majors, but also hasn’t seen substantial playing time since the 2016 campaign owing to a DUI conviction and resulting inability to secure a visa. While he returned late in the 2018 season, Kang did not have a chance to reestablish himself and remains a bit of a wild card on the present market.