One savvy play: Dealing Ha-Seong Kim
One of the most entertaining players in baseball is Ha-Seong Kim. But the Padres lineup has struggled to score runs all season. Preller is not actively shopping Kim, but he might be tempted to trade him for a hard-hitting run producer.
However, a Kim trade only makes sense if the Friars acquire Jake Cronenworth’s replacement at first base. Rumors have circulated that the St. Louis Cardinals might deal their star first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt, to begin rebuilding the roster. But nothing has translated into anything substantial. It is hard to imagine the Cardinals parting with one of their cornerstone players despite sinking to last place in the NL Central Division.
Kim is a sought-after trade commodity, as he will make an immediate impact to any team’s lineup. Managers love versatile players, and Kim can play anywhere on the infield (2B, SS and 3B). In 2022, he showed offensive and defensive skills that merited him to be considered an everyday shortstop. He batted .251/.325/.383 with 11 homers and 59 RBI while committing only eight errors in 503 chances.
There might be more profiled names available at the trade deadline, but an organization will have a hard time acquiring an infielder of Kim’s ability in a potential deal. Preller would not trade him unless he received the right players in return.