Jung Ho Kang set to re-join Pirates after DUI verdict in South Korea

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang received a suspended sentence Friday for driving under the influence of alcohol.

A district court in Seoul sentenced Kang to eight months in prison, but that ruling will be suspended for two years, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"I am sorry, and I am repenting a lot,'' Kang told reporters after the ruling.

The sentence handed down Friday by the Seoul Central District Court was a heavier punishment than the 15 million won ($13,000) fine prosecutors had sought but still clears the 29-year-old Kang to join the Pirates for the new baseball season.

"Now that Jung Ho's legal case in Korea has concluded, we will continue to work with him and his representatives in an effort to secure his work visa so that he may resume his career as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates," team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. "We look forward to meeting with Jung Ho as soon as he is able to travel to the United States and having a serious discussion with him on this issue and how he has and will change those behaviors that led to the very serious punishment that has been levied against him in Korea.

Coonelly said the team would not discuss possible disciplinary measures until talking with Kang.

"Regardless of our decision on the disciplinary issue, we will do everything that we can as an organization to assist Jung Ho as he works to change his behavior and grow into the man that we know he can be," Coonelly said.

Kang left the scene of an accident in Seoul on Dec. 2. A friend of Kang's originally said he was behind the wheel, but police later found out Kang had driven the car. Kang had a blood alcohol content of 0.084. The legal limit is 0.05.

It was Kang's third DUI arrest in South Korea. He is expected to participate in an alcohol treatment program to mitigate discipline by the Pirates or MLB.

Kang hit 21 homers with 62 RBIs, along with a .255 batting average, in 103 games during the 2016 campaign.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.