He’s become a hot commodity on the trade market. The San Diego Padres want Kim, 28, but San Diego doesn’t seem to want to sell him either.
Jim Borden, a columnist for The Athletic and a former Major League Baseball general manager, held a Q&A with fans on Monday (Nov. 21) about 25 different trade scenarios.굿모닝토토
At the top of the list is Juan Soto (San Diego). The first fan to ask about Soto’s whereabouts was Kim Ha-seong, who plays alongside Soto.
The Boston fan tweeted, “While everyone is drooling over Soto, I have my eye on another trade candidate from San Diego. Kim would single-handedly fix several weaknesses on the Boston roster. Boston could have a second baseman who can also cover shortstop. He would add defense, balance, and a speedy right-handed hitter to the lineup. It doesn’t get much more perfect than that, in my opinion. New general manager Craig Breslow emphasized the need for Kim by asking, “What would it take to lure him away from San Diego president A.J. Preller?
Then Bowden said, “Boston has already had trade talks with the Cincinnati Reds for Jonathan India and the New York Yankees for Gleyber Torres. ‘There’s no question that second base is a priority for the Red Sox,’ he said, ‘and coming off the best season of his career, Ha-Sung Kim would be a perfect fit.
Bowden also mentioned a realistic possibility. “Unfortunately for Boston, San Diego is not willing to trade Ha-Sung Kim, who is due $8 million next year,” he said, “but any player can be traded for the right price. If Boston is willing to sell second base prospect Nick York and Tanner Hauck, a controllable starting pitcher who could help San Diego right away, Preller would consider it.
Nick York is a former first-round draft pick in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft who pitched in this year’s Futures Game. He is currently playing in Double-A, where he is batting .268 (119-for-444) with 13 home runs, 61 RBIs, and a .785 OPS in 110 games. He’s the sixth-best prospect in Boston’s organization according to MLB Pipeline prospect rankings. Among second base prospects, he ranks seventh in the majors. Even with Kim’s departure, the Red Sox need to provide a counteroffer to fill the void.
Additionally, Hauck is a starting pitcher who made his debut in 2020 and went 6-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 21 games as a starter this year. He explained that the team should offer a top prospect and an immediate power player, if not a pillar, to get Kim.
Kim’s defensive prowess was recognized this year when he won the National League Gold Glove for utility. He showed off his top-notch defense by moving from his primary position of second base to shortstop and third base when needed. At the plate, he’s been an integral part of San Diego’s offense, batting .538 (140-for-538) with 17 home runs, 60 RBIs and a .749 OPS.
At a recent press conference in Korea to celebrate his Gold Glove win, Kim said, “I was stressed at first. Now I don’t care at all. Being traded means that another team needs me. I think it doesn’t matter which team I play for as long as I’m given playing time,” he said, adding, “But personally, I like San Diego.”
San Diego is currently in the midst of a major roster overhaul. The team’s need to reduce its payroll has made it necessary to reorganize the roster. That’s why the Juan Soto trade rumors continue to surface. Add to that the fact that President of Baseball Operations Preller has been dubbed the “Madman” of the trade market. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this time around, the Mad Men mentality could kick in.
Still, Kim is one of the few resources available to help San Diego’s current army of superstars become cohesive. What’s more, he doesn’t come at a high salary. The four-year, $28 million contract he signed when he broke into the majors in the 2021 season is coming to an end soon. In 2024, he’ll be in the fourth year of a four-year, $8 million contract. In 2025, he has a mutual option to extend his contract if the club and player agree. If he agrees to extend his contract, he will earn $7 million. This is a low salary compared to his current value. From San Diego’s perspective, they want to keep the Gold Glove winner with a solid bat for as long as possible.