San Diego Padres rumors: Could Ha-Seong Kim be a Boston Red Sox trade target?

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly looking to upgrade at second base. Could they call the San Diego Padres about a trade for Ha-Seong Kim?
San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim
San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres have already lost one key piece of their 2023 lineup to an American League East team, with Juan Soto moving to the New York Yankees in a recent trade. Now could another AL East squad be looking to do a deal with A.J. Preller and the Padres?

San Diego Padres rumors: Ha-Seong Kim on the Boston Red Sox radar?

In an article for The Athletic (subscription required), Jen McCaffrey writes that Boston is looking to find an answer in 2024 at second base, saying it is "one glaring need" for the Red Sox heading into the season. With that in mind, McCaffrey looks around the league for potential trade options for Boston and her eyes land on (among others) San Diego and Ha-Seong Kim.

Kim being wanted by other teams makes perfect sense, not only because of what he did on the field in 2023 (5.8 bWAR, an OPS+ of 110 and a Gold Glove) but also because of his contract situation (he's in the final year of a four-year, $28 million deal with a mutual option in place for the 2025 campaign). However, he isn't scheduled to be a free agent until the 2027 season, meaning that Kim will fit nicely into a team's budget for a few more seasons.

McCaffrey has seen the trade for Soto and the loss of plenty of former San Diego pitchers who have signed or will sign sizeable contracts with other teams. Knowing that, she calls the Padres "very much in transition" and has an idea on what it might take to lure Kim away from San Diego.

"After trading Juan Soto and Trent Grisham, they likely could use outfield help and they’re also in the market for bullpen arms, particularly set-up men," McCaffrey writes. "The Red Sox seemingly could find a fit to bring Kim to Boston."

Knowing Kim's value to the Padres as well as the big role he will be playing when the team opens the 2024 season in Seoul against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20, it would likely take a big return for Preller to pull the trigger on any kind of move. However, with San Diego having a quiet offseason so far, other teams are seemingly wondering if Kim might be available and what it might take to make a deal.