The higher a player’s value, the more trade rumors will follow. After a breakout offensive season in 2023, Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres) is being talked about even before the Major League Baseball (MLB) stovepipes open.
In 2023, Kim hit .260 with 17 home runs, 60 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 38 stolen bases. Those were all MLB career highs. Last season, as San Diego’s starting shortstop, he was named one of three Gold Glove finalists for his stellar defense. This season, his performance at the plate was even better. He moved up from the bottom of the batting order to leadoff (No. 1). He struggled with a stomach bug in September, but was a mainstay of the San Diego offense until then. He is a favorite to win the Gold Glove at second base this season.
However, there have been reports that Kim could be traded this winter. MLB Trade Rumors noted that Kim is entering the final year of his four-year contract (2024), so there are plenty of other teams that could be interested in his increased value. They also noted that there is a backup second baseman in Jake Cronenwirth and that it’s time for the team’s top prospect, infielder Jackson Merrill, to break into the big leagues.
Kim was also the subject of trade speculation last winter. The Dodgers acquired shortstop Zander Bogaerts in free agency.
“I know the media talked about it, but I didn’t pay attention to it because neither my agent nor the team talked to me directly,” Kim told the publication last December. “San Diego is a team that is aiming for the top, so they will take various steps to strengthen their power. I just need to focus on what I can do,” he said in an interview.
Kim shared his thoughts on his return home on Nov. 11. Despite his rise in stature over the past year, he said, “You never know what’s going to happen with a trade. So I don’t care. I’m just going to prepare well for the next season.”
San Diego’s total team payroll for the 2023 season was $257 million ($347 billion). It ranked third out of 30 MLB teams. The return on investment was minimal. The team won just 82 games this season and missed the postseason (PS) by 80 games.메이저놀이터
San Diego general manager A.J. Preller, who lived up to the nickname “Madman” with his stormy acquisitions last winter, is also looking to cut costs this winter. He’s likely to retool his roster with players of high skill and value. With the KBO’s iconic Lee Jung-hoo on his way to the MLB, Kim Ha-seong’s future is also in the spotlight.