Being labeled a trade chip can sometimes sound bad for a player. But it’s a different story when it’s directed at Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres).
MLBTR, which focuses on Major League Baseball (MLB) trade news, reported on Friday (Aug. 15) that the Miami Marlins are looking to bolster their shortstop corps and mentioned that Kim could be a possible trade target.
Miami with no shortstop presence…trade ‘5th in NL WAR’ Ha Sung Kim as a trade card?
The outlet lists Tim Anderson, Ahmed Rosario, Gio Ursella, Paul DeJong, and Nick Ahmed as possible shortstop options for Miami, but also notes that “finding a solution from the outside could also be a challenge.”
Kim has been mentioned as a trade target before and during the offseason. While he excelled defensively last year, earning a spot on the final three NL shortstop Gold Glove teams and hitting double-digit home runs (11), his batting average of .251 left something to be desired.
That’s why there was some speculation that San Diego could bring in a much-needed infield utility piece in return. By midseason, that assessment seemed to hold true.
However, the one thing that was lacking was power, and Kim has rebounded perfectly. He’s hitting .268 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 36 stolen bases, along with a .358 on-base percentage, .413 slugging percentage, and a .771 OPS.
He moved to second base when San Diego acquired Xander Bogaerts and has been one of the top Gold Glove candidates again this year, playing one of the best defenses in the NL while switching between third base and shortstop. His hitting has also improved, and his 35 stolen bases make him a complete five-tool player.
On Thursday, MLB.com, the official MLB website, recognized the player who has made the biggest improvement for each team this season, and San Diego chose Kim. “Everyone knows that Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta) and Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers) are in the (National League) Most Valuable Player (MVP) race. “But guess who ranks fifth in the NL in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) according to Baseball Reference, and that’s Ha-Sung Kim, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise underachieving team.”
Kim has a 5.7 WAR per Baseball-Reference. As MLB.com explains, that’s good for fifth in the NL and 10th in all of baseball, behind Betts (8.1), Acuña Jr. (7.6), Olson (6.4), and Freeman (6.2).
“Kim has developed into an elite leadoff hitter, hitting .358 with 35 stolen bases and ranking second in pitches per plate appearance,” MLB.com said. “Defensively, there is no better player in San Diego. He played primarily at second base, but also saw time at shortstop and third base to fill in for injuries to teammates, and he played wherever he was needed.” “His versatility is admirable.
MLBTR’s “not going down” outlook, but he’s still worthy of consideration…
Still, there’s only one reason he’s back on the trade block. There’s only one reason he’s back on the trading block: San Diego can capitalize on his skyrocketing value in other ways.
As MLBTR notes, “Kim was moved to second base when the Padres acquired Bogaerts, but he’s quietly having a good year. “With 2024 being the last guaranteed year of his contract, he’s only a short-term solution,” said MLBTR.
Kim’s contract with San Diego runs through 2024. A mutually agreeable one-year extension is possible after that, but it’s unlikely that Kim will take it. At this point, even if he stays in San Diego, he’s likely to get a much better deal in free agency.
While it’s not easy for Miami to accept a trade for a player who will be a free agent in a year’s time, it may be worthwhile to try and secure a player in free agency if there is interest. 메이저사이트
Current Miami shortstop Joey Wendle is batting .222 with two home runs, 20 RBIs, seven doubles, a .257 on-base percentage, and a .323 slugging percentage in 103 games. The challenge for Miami is to find a shortstop with more presence in the offense.
With his value skyrocketing, the prospects aren’t too bad for Kim. More teams looking for him means a renewed appreciation for his value.
With his already-established defense, blossoming batting potential, base running and hustle instincts, Kim has been a staple for San Diego this season. He’ll be a free agent after next season, and his price tag is already showing signs of soaring.