Kang Jung-ho eyeing Pirates’ starting lineup

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Kang Jung-ho eyeing Pirates’ starting lineup

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is getting a raise - just not the one he was hoping for.

An arbitration panel sided Saturday with the Pirates in their case against Walker, who was seeking a bump in pay to $9 million in 2015. The 29-year-old Walker will instead receive $8 million under the decision made by Gil Vernon, Steven Wolf and Mark Burstein. Walker made $5.75 million last year

This opens the door a little bit wider for Kang Jung-ho, who is moving to the Pittsburgh Pirates from KBO’s Nexen Heroes, and increases his chances of potentially making the team’s starting lineup.

The club is likely to trade Walker after the 2015 season or over the course of the next year.

Walker led NL second baseman with a career-best 23 home runs in 2014. He hit .271 with 76 RBIs in 137 games for the Pirates, who claimed a second straight wild-card berth.

The Pirates also face arbitration with corner infielder Pedro Alvarez and starting pitcher Vance Worley.

BY KIM BONG-MOON, AP [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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