By Jason Shetler
It was announced on Wednesday that the Nexen Heroes will post Byung-Ho Park on Monday. All Major League clubs will have the opportunity to post a fee for the Korean born first baseman by next Friday. The highest bidder will then have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Park, if Nexen approves of the offer.
The Pirates went through this process last offseason after posting the winning bid for Jung-Ho Kang. Both sides agreed to a four-year deal worth $11 million in January, which also included a fifth year club option. Much was made about whether or not Kang’s numbers in the KBO would translate any in the Majors. Kang may not have hit for a ton of power, but still had a very productive rookie season for the Pirates this year, as he posted an .816 OPS with a 4.0 WAR.
Unlike the situation with Kang, there will be plenty of teams who will be interested in Park. The question is should the Pirates consider him? – First base is going to be one of the main topics of conversation for the Pirates this offseason. Pedro Alvarez is a very likely trade candidate while Michael Morse is under contract through next season. Then of course you have Josh Bell, who is knocking on the door with AAA Indianapolis. In my opinion, the Pirates should consider Park, but only if the posting fee to negotiate with him is at a reasonable figure like the one for Kang last offseason. This way if Park were to struggle and not make adjustments right away, the Pirates could send him to AAA without having to deal with any real financial repercussions, and replace him with Morse or Bell, depending on Bell not being under Super 2. Should the Pirates get Park and he makes a real impact like Kang did this season, then Bell would become a solid trade piece for the Pirates to use in an effort to really bolster their starting rotation, assuming they contend again in 2016.