2 things the Padres-Luis Arráez trade might be telling San Diego fans

Is there more going on than the Friar faithful are aware of?
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Not too many Padres fans are going to complain about the fact that San Diego swung a deal for one of the best hitters in the game. Last Friday, the Padres pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins for two-time batting champion Luis Arráez.

Arráez has quite the résumé and there's no denying that securing the services for the two-time All-Star will bolster San Diego's lineup for the next two seasons. It is rather curious, however, that Padres President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller decided to add another infielder to an already crowded position group.

Does Preller know something we don't? Does the top Padres' executive have another move up his sleeve? While it's purely speculation, adding Arráez could have some bigger implications down the road.

Padres-Luis Arráez trade could mean the end of Ha-Seong Kim in San Diego

The most obvious question following the acquisition of Arráez is how it affects the Padres' infield. While Arráez is not an elite defender by any means, it seems unlikely that the Friars will deploy the former Silver Slugger as the the team's DH for every single game.

Arráez is likely to share time with both Jake Cronenworth (first base) and Xander Bogaerts (second base). In fact, Bogaerts was the Padres' DH during Sunday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But with Arráez on the roster, it certainly raises questions about Ha-Seong Kim's future in San Diego. The Padres shortstop can opt out of his contract after the season, and with so many high-profile players already under long-term deals, offering Kim an extension seems like a pipe dream. Arráez doesn't reach free agency until after the 2025 season, so he could give the Padres an added year of team control beyond what Kim offers.

Padres-Luis Arraez trade could mean Xander Bogaerts' return to shortstop

If the Padres do move on from Kim, either before the trade deadline or during the offseason, would Bogaerts return to shortstop? The Friars' top shortstop prospect, Leodalis De Vries, has a few years until he'll be major league ready, so the Padres really don't have too many options.

San Diego has already moved Jackson Merrill to the outfield, and with Jacob Marsee now a part of the Marlins' organization, the Padres are short on players who can take over at shortstop in the event Kim does not return in 2025.

Arraez could then take over at the keystone for Bogaerts with Cronenworth and Manny Machado occupying the corner infield spots. The infield defense, however, would be an absolute mess. Padres fans are hopeful that Preller has a better contingency plan than Boagerts back to shortstop if Kim signs elsewhere during the offseason.

At the very least, this should be a formidable offensive group.

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