Tigers send 3B/OF Matt Vierling, SS Kevin McGonigle, and 3B/OF Justyn-Henry Malloy
The Detroit Tigers' infield is also in need of some stability that Kim could provide. Instead of second base, the Tigers' issue in 2023 was third, where they put eight different players at various points throughout the season. Detroit employs a rotating cast of utility men, including Matt Vierling, Zach McKinstry, and Andy Ibáñez, who all appeared at third at least once this season, and seem content to do so again next year, with Vierling largely taking the lead.
However, if you threw Vierling, who has learned how to play third base but is an outfielder originally, into a package with a couple prospects in exchange for Kim, it could be a win-win. No. 5 prospect Kevin McGonigle rocketed to the top of the Tigers' prospects ranking by batting .315/.452/.411 between rookie and A-ball this year. The Padres do have shortstop and No. 2 prospect Jackson Merrill in Double-A but are missing another specialized shortstop in their top 30. Justyn-Henry Malloy, the Tigers' No. 9 prospect who could arrive in the majors this year, provides the same versatility as Vierling with time spent both in the outfield and at third.
A trade with Detroit could solve a lot of problems for the Tigers at third base while giving the Padres a lot to work with on multiple levels: a major-league-test depth option for the outfield in Vierling, a promising prospect to develop or use as a trade piece again in McGonigle, and a major-league-ready outfielder/utility man in Malloy.