The San Diego Padres may be one of the most star-studded lineups in the league after signing Xander Bogaerts to go alongside Juan Soto and Manny Machado, but role players like Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim played a part in helping them upset their way to the NLCS.
The Padres were a quality defensive team last year, as Kim's vacuum glove in the infield and Grisham's tremendous range in the outfield helped chalk up a few extra wins on the ledger. However, this team had to be disappointed with Grisham's performance at the plate.
Why would they consider trading them? Well, all of their huge nine-figure contracts will make it hard to pay all of their starting position players. While GM AJ Preller did state that he intends to go into the season with this group of position players, his plans have a habit of changing.
According to Dennis Lin of The Athletic, Preller could discuss trades for both Grisham and Kim. With the departures of Josh Bell and Brandon Drury leaving the team lacking in certain areas and the starting rotation still exceedingly thin, flipping one of them for more assets makes sense.
The San Diego Padres may trade Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim
Of the two, Grisham seems like the more likely player to be dealt. While he is still a Gold Glove-level defender and someone who can get clutch hits in the postseason, he hit just .184 in the regular season and got on base just 28.4% of the time. His regression hit hard.
Kim hit .251 with 11 home runs, 59 RBI, and 12 steals last year, exceeding what many believed the former KBO star was capable of in America. However, his 5.1 WAR is due mostly to his exceptional defense. With Bogaerts coming in, Kim is likely going to be the starter at second base.
The Padres have enough star power to contend for a 100-win season and championship appearance, so the idea of trading Grisham or Kim for a collection of prospects could help keep Preller flexible. Of course, if there's one big name who comes available via trade, San Diego will not sit these talks out.
The Padres would lose their two best defenders in Grisham and Kim, but Preller knows that some costs need to be cut in order to restock the farm system and plug holes elsewhere on the roster. Don't be surprsied if one of them, especially Grisham, is elsewhere on Opening Day.