“Ha-sung Kim’s versatility immediately makes San Diego stronger in that position.”
The trade rumors of Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) ended with rumors. Of course trades can happen at any time. However, at this point, San Diego’s decision to use Kim Ha-seong as the starting second baseman this season seems to be close to an ‘immutable principle’.
Ha-seong Kim recently joined the San Diego Spring Camp at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona, USA, and started preparing for the 2023 season메이저놀이터. It is a precious time to breathe with San Diego colleagues until joining the Korean WBC baseball team early next month.
The San Diego Union Tribune pointed out on the 22nd (Korean time) that San Diego has abundant shortstop resources, and that it is an advantage in the long-term race. It was explained that Xander Bogatz, who was recruited from the free agent market, plays as the starting shortstop, Ha-seong Kim goes to second base, and Jake Cronenworth goes to first base. He added that Fernando Tatis Jr., who will return from a banned substance ban in April, will go to the outfield.
The San Diego Union Tribune said, “Manny Machado, Bogarts, Kim Ha-seong, and Cronenworth all gained experience in important positions. In particular, there is Kim Ha-seong, who ranked fifth in shortstop defensive run saves last season. There are a lot of players who are good at handling the most challenging places on the field (between the 3s), so Tatis heads to the outfield.”
Machado also expressed satisfaction with the presence of the team’s solid infield, especially Kim Ha-sung. “The shortstop will play second base,” the San Diego Union Tribune said. It would be fun to have four shortstops in the infield playing all four different positions. We will catch a lot of outcounts.”
Then, who will be responsible for the most outcounts? The San Diego Union Tribune said, “Cronenworth is highly likely. He can play almost any position. Ha-sung Kim filled the Tatis void last season, allowing Cronenworth to settle comfortably at second base. The versatility of Cronenworth and Kim Ha-sung immediately makes San Diego stronger on the spot.”
On the other hand, Machado is eligible for opt-out after finishing this season, digesting half of the 10-year, $300 million contract. He is ambitious to give up the remaining 5 years and $150 million (approximately 195.8 billion won) contract and win a better contract in the free agent market. He’s a top 3 baseman in the National League, so it’s not an impossible target. For San Diego, it will be difficult to easily trade Ha-seong Kim in terms of depth management in case Machado leaves.