Padres' 2024 promotional schedule seems to hedge their Ha-Seong Kim bets

Did the Padres show their hand?
San Diego Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim
San Diego Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres released their promotional schedule for the upcoming season, and the Friar Faithful will surely want to head out to Petco Park this summer with some intriguing giveaways in store.

Among this year's promotional items are a knit beanie (April 29th), a Joe Musgrove basketball jersey (June 11th), and a Tony Gywnn Henley jersey (August 12th). The Padres organization always does a terrific job taking care of the home fans throughout the season.

But one interesting item, along with its release date, may hold some clues for how the Padres plan to move forward during the 2024 season. Ha-Seong Kim has been a popular trade target all offseason, but a bobblehead displaying the popular Padres infielder may be a hint as to his true availability.

Padres' 2024 promotional schedule places Ha-Seong Kim bobblehead in helpful spot

The Padres plan to give away a Ha-Seong Kim bobblehead to the first 40,000 fans in attendance for San Diego's game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, June 25th. The date selected for this promo would suggest two things; the Padres have no intention of trading Kim before the start or the 2024 season, but if a team comes calling at the trade deadline, the team's star infielder could be available.

Friars fans don't want to think about life without Kim, but it's a very real possibility. Kim's contract contains a mutual option after the 2024 season, and it's quite likely that he'll at least exercise his right to test free agency next offseason. The Padres could quiet all the talk surrounding a potential trade by signing Kim to an extension, but nothing has materialized quite yet.

Rather than watch Kim duplicate his performance from last season, enter free agency, and easily double his salary next offseason, San Diego could opt to trade the 28-year-old to a contender before the July 30th deadline.

As is the case with other players throughout the league like Corbin Burnes, Jonathan India, and Dylan Cease, these trade rumors will continue to surround Kim and the Padres throughout the season. If San Diego is out of contention by the All-Star break, there's a possibility that A.J. Preller is able to find a taker for Kim.

The Padres' top infield prospect, Jackson Merrill, is being groomed for this possibility. After reaching Double-A last season, Merrill is on the cusp of making it to The Show in 2024. Merrill's presence in the minor leagues is just another layer to the Kim trade talks.

But you can rest easy for now, Padres fans, as Kim is unlikely to be traded before the start of the 2024 season (unless they intend to create one awkward doll).