Pirates sign 3B Jung Ho Kang to 1-year deal

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jung Ho Kang is staying with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates and the veteran third baseman agreed to a one-year deal Thursday that will bring Kang back for the 2019 season.

The move comes a week after Pittsburgh declined a $5.5 million club option for Kang. The team opted to pay him a $250,000 buyout instead. Financial terms on Kang's new deal weren't immediately available.

Kang was a star in his native South Korea when the Pirates signed him to an $11 million, four-year deal in January 2015. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2015 after hitting 15 homers and driving in 58 runs.

The 31-year-old Kang didn't play in the U.S. between September 2016 and June 2018 because of visa issues connected to three DUI arrests in South Korea. He made it back to the majors with Pittsburgh in September, collecting two hits in six at-bats during the final weekend of the season.

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