Korean infielder Kim Ha-seong (27) of the San Diego Padres was evaluated as a “defensive genius” and was selected as a candidate for an extension contract.
On the 2nd (Korean time), the Major League Baseball official website (MLB.com) 안전놀이터reported on the news that San Diego signed a long-term contract with infielder Jake Cronenworth for 7 years and 80 million dollars, and also mentioned candidates for the next extension contract.
San Diego has already signed extended contracts with Cronenworth, Manny Machado, Darvish Yu, and Joe Musgrove, and in the free agent market, they made a big investment by signing an 11-year contract with Zander Bogatz.
Who will be San Diego’s next target? First, ‘MLB.com’ said, “The most obvious answer is Blake Snell and Josh Hader,” and introduced Snell and Hader as the most likely candidates, saying, “They will become free agents after this season.” Snell is the team’s main starting pitcher, and Hader is the league’s top finisher, both of whom are key players in San Diego.
The next player mentioned after them was Kim Ha-seong. ‘MLB.com’ said, “Ha-seong Kim, who was contracted until the 2024 season, became the most favored player by San Diego fans as a defensive genius,” and said that Ha-seong Kim was also a potential extension contract candidate.
When Kim Ha-seong joined San Diego ahead of the 2021 season, he was treated up to $39 million (approximately 51 billion won) in 4+1 years. If Ha-sung Kim signs an extended contract with San Diego, he will surely be treated more generously than this. ‘MLB.com’
Kim Ha-seong, who played in 150 games last year and played an active role as San Diego’s starting shortstop, showed further growth with a batting average of .251, 11 homers, 59 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He even boasted excellent defensive skills to the point of being selected as one of the three finalists for the Gold Glove in the National League shortstop category. He has a good start this season as well. Kim Ha-seong, who was dropped as the starting second baseman, is showing off his presence with a batting average of .571 (4 hits in 7 at-bats) and 2 doubles.
If Ha-seong Kim shows a more brilliant performance than last year, it is clear that the San Diego club will also make a move. Ha-seong Kim can qualify as a free agent after the end of the 2024 season under his guaranteed four-year contract. There is an option with an annual salary of $7 million in 2025, but since it is a mutual option, Ha-seong Kim must agree to it. Before Ha-seong Kim knocks on the free agency market, attention is focused on whether the San Diego club will move quickly.