The San Diego Padres are in a bit of a pickle. The Friars have already waved goodbye to All-Star outfielder and perennial MVP candidate Juan Soto after swinging a trade with the New York Yankees earlier this offseason.
And while San Diego saved a huge amount of money for the 2024 payroll and added some solid prospects, president of baseball operations A.J. Preller may still need to trim some more fat before Opening Day. One player who continues to come up in trade rumors is Ha-Seong Kim. While Padres fans don't want to think about life without their star infielder, Kim would offer the biggest return of anybody on the roster.
Are the Miami Marlins a good trade partner for Padres? Clark Fahrenthold of SDNews.com certainly thinks so. The sports reporter opined trading Kim to the Marlins in exchange for Miami starter Edward Cabrera or a package containing pitcher A.J. Puk and outfielder Jesús Sánchez.
Could Marlins trade for Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim?
This could be one of those win-win type of trades fans typically hate. Opposing fanbases always want to feel as though their team won the trade or fleeced the other club's general manager. But a trade between the Padres and Marlins centered around Kim and some of Miami's pitchers would benefit both clubs.
The Padres are going to lose Blake Snell in free agency, and have already seen Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez. and Michael Wacha sign elsewhere this offseason. Yu Darvish is getting up there in years, and Joe Musgrove is returning from an injury-riddled 2023 campaign. The Friars' starting rotation is a mess.
But San Diego has plenty of infield depth. While Fernando Tatis Jr. has made the move to the outfield, the 25-year-old does have plenty experience on the infield dirt and can fill in if needed. The Padres also have Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth.
And don't forget about Jackson Merrill working his way up through the minors. San Diego's first-round pick from 2021 put most of the injury concerns behind him last season, and will be looking to secure a spot on the Padres' infield in the near future.
The Marlins pitching depth could offer the Padres a ton of upside
Kim is on a team-friendly deal, but has a mutual-option after the 2025 season that he could very well decline. With so many other infielders on expensive, long-term contracts, it seems unlikely San Diego will look to lock Kim up over the long haul.
The aforementioned trio of Marlins (Cabrera, Puk, and Sanchez) are all under team control for multiple seasons, and could help offset the Padres' winter losses without increasing the club's payroll.
The Padres have reportedly set the price tag very high for Kim, but the Marlins are one of the few clubs that could meet those lofty demands. Perhaps these two teams will look to work a mutually beneficial trade before spring training begins next month.