Should Red Sox pursue Ha-Seong Kim in trade with Padres? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox helped create an infield logjam in San Diego. They could also help relieve that logjam.
The Padres appear to have a surplus of infielders after signing ex-Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency. Ha-Seong Kim, who was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop last season and would have to shift to second base if he stayed in San Diego, seems like a prime trade candidate, and The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reports the Padres are “open to discussing” deals for both Kim and outfielder Trent Grisham.
Lin also noted that Kim could appeal to a team like the Red Sox, Atlanta Braves or Minnesota Twins, who all lost their star shortstops to free agency.
So, would Kim be a good fit in Boston?
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The 27-year-old South Korea native slashed .251/.325/.383 last season with 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, 12 steals and 100 strikeouts in 150 games played. Those numbers aren’t stellar, but they’re a vast improvement from Kim’s first season in Major League Baseball after coming over from the Korea Baseball Organization in 2021.
Kim hit .294 with 133 homers over seven seasons in the KBO, so the offensive potential is there. He’s also an excellent defensive shortstop who would allow Trevor Story to remain at second base, where he thrived as a fielder in 2022.
Kim, who’s on a favorable four-year, $28 million contract that runs through 2024, has also been on Boston’s radar before: The Red Sox reportedly were among six teams interested in Kim when he came out of the KBO late in 2020.
The question is what Boston could offer San Diego in a trade. The Padres desire starting pitching, but the Red Sox also need rotation help even after signing Corey Kluber. Boston reportedly is open to trading Chris Sale, but the Padres might be unwilling to take on his contract after an offseason of big spending.
While Kim wouldn’t move the needle significantly in Boston, he’d still be a solid pickup for the Red Sox as a low-cost middle infielder to pair with Story.