“Ha-Sung Kim would be the most realistic trade candidate San Diego would want aside from Soto.”
The San Diego Padres are looking to reduce the team payroll from $250 million this year to $200 million next year. Juan Soto, who is projected to make about $30 million next year, may not be the only player to be traded. MLB TradeRumors mentioned the possibility of a trade for Kim on Nov. 11 (ET).
In the first three seasons of his 4+1 year, $39 million contract, Kim has become one of the best offensive and defensive second basemen in the majors. He can also play third base and shortstop. He’s still in his 20s, he’s still got a lot of upside, and his next contract could be huge.
The question is how and when, and there’s no indication that the Padres will offer Kim an extension now that the payroll is clear. There has even been speculation that the team could trade him to further solidify its payroll reduction.
Kim will be eligible for free agency after the 2024 season. If he continues to perform at his level next year, there’s no reason to trigger his $8 million option for 2025. So it’s getting close to time for San Diego to decide where they stand on Kim. The situation is not unlike Soto, who will be a free agent in a year.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, “Kim is entering the final season of a four-year, $28 million (guaranteed) deal. He’s a plus defender who can move around the infield. If San Diego were to trade him, he would be an in-demand trade piece. Given his low price and the terrible free agent market for center fielders, Kim would be the most realistic trade candidate for the Padres outside of Soto.”
But San Diego would have to choose well. Kim’s price tag isn’t that high, so there’s a risk that the payroll savings of unloading him could outweigh the actual power hole. At the end of the day, it’s hard to imagine San Diego not having him in the infield; he’s become such a presence.토토사이트
As MLBTradeRumors notes, “Trading Kim would initially open up second base for Jake Cronenweth. But it would also free up a ton of salary space and lose one of the Padres’ best position players. It’s a possibility that general manager A.J. Preller and his staff won’t completely rule out, but the price would be steep.”
Regardless, if Kim continues to play as well as he did this season next year, he’ll be eligible for a big contract. If he is traded, he could be offered an extension by the team before the end of the 2024 season, or he could hit the free agent market after the season. If he stays in San Diego and doesn’t get an extension, he can declare free agency. Wherever he ends up, he’ll have a blossoming career a year from now.
However, if San Diego trades Kim in the offseason, Korean fans will not see him in Seoul’s opening game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20 next year. If San Diego actually considers trading Kim, they will take this variable into account.