Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang is expected to be posted on Monday, but Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that Mets brass is still undecided as to whether they well heavily pursue the 27-year-old. The posting fee to negotiate with Kang has been projected to be anywhere from $5 million to $15 million and now Ackert reports that the general feeling from the winter meetings was that Kang is seeking a three-year deal in $24 million range.
The Mets have scouted the shortstop, who hit .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games for the Nexen Heroes last season, putting up an MVP-caliber season in the Korean Baseball Organization. Our own Steve Sypa wrote an extensive profile on Kang back in December, ultimately concluding:
If the organization is interested in bringing Jung-Ho Kang on board, it needs to be convinced that he will be an upgrade—offensively, defensively, or both, at either shortstop or second base. While the possibility certainly exists, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. As such, committing limited funds to the Gwangju native would be a risky proposition.
Given his reported contract demands plus the required posting fee, whichever team signs Kang could end up spending anywhere from about $30 to $40 million for his services. There probably aren't any shortstops remaining on the free agent market who present the offensive potential that comes with signing Kang, but there are also concerns surrounding him due to his extreme leg kick and whether his defense will be good enough to stick at shortstop in MLB.