The San Diego Padres are in the unenviable position of trading one of the top players, again. The Padres have already dealt All-Star outfielder Juan Soto, but the Friars may not be done making significant moves this offseason.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting San Diego is shopping Ha-Seong Kim. While the Padres haven't found a deal to their liking just yet, with Kim's team-friendly contract, it seems like only a matter of time.
Nightengale also opined on the current state of Josh Hader's free agent market. With about a month remaining until teams report to spring training, why hasn't the best left-handed reliever on the market found a new team?
Padres continue to shop Ha-Seong Kim this offseason
Last season, Kim was one of the Padres' best performers. His 4.4 fWAR was tied for second on the team among position players and trailed only Soto (5.5 fWAR). Though his .749 OPS doesn't scream All-Star, his Gold Glove-caliber defense on the infield and positional versatility are surely going to be attractive to other teams.
Kim is owed $7 million in 2024, and his contract includes a $7 million mutual option for the 2025 season. With his performance this past season, one has to assume Kim will opt out after the upcoming season if all goes well. Since San Diego has shown no interest in spending money this winter, it's hard to see the Friars re-signing Kim beyond 2024.
According to Nightengale's report, San Diego would be looking for pitching in exchange for Kim's services. The Padres have already lost several starters to free agency this offseason, and though the club added a few pitchers in the Soto deal, more reinforcements are necessary.
Why hasn't former Padres reliever Josh Hader signed yet?
The buzz surrounding Hader prior to the beginning of the offseason was palpable. It was assumed that the left-handed reliever would receive a free agent deal that would rival that of New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz's five-year, $102 million contract.
But that hasn't happened. According to Nightengale, don't expect Hader's market to heat up until the former Padres closer is willing to bring down his current asking price. Hader is reportedly seeking a five-year deal worth at least $100 million.
Hader struck out over 35% of the batters he faced in 2023 and posted an impressive 1.28 ERA. But his 4.79 walks per nine innings probably have teams wary of dropping such a big number on the 29-year-old reliever. Will Hader continue to wait out the market or eventually settle for less than he desires?