Ha-Seong Kim, Padres Reportedly Agree to Contract After Blake Snell Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 28, 2020

South Korea's Kim Ha-seong hits an RBI double off Cuba's pitcher Yariel Rodriguez during the second inning of the Group C of the WBSC Premier12 2019 world baseball tournament against Canada at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press

The San Diego Padres are hoping to build off their success in 2020 by reportedly agreeing to a deal with South Korean star Ha-Seong Kim, per Dennis Lin of The Athletic.

ESPN's Buster Olney previously reported the Padres were "taking a serious run" at the 25-year-old shortstop. 

The reported addition of Kim comes as San Diego is closing in on getting Blake Snell. Lin, Josh Tolentino and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Padres have an agreement in place with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire the 2018 American League Cy Young winner for Luis Patino, Francisco Mejia, Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox

Kim made his debut in the Korean Baseball Organization as an 18-year-old in 2014. He was originally a third-round draft pick by the Nexen Heroes and spent five seasons with the team. 

Over the past two years, Kim (5'10", 172 lbs) has been the starting shortstop for the Kiwoom Heroes. He ranked 11th in OPS (.920), 12th in on-base percentage (.397) and 20th in batting average (.306) in 138 games during the 2020 season. 

In May, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America named Kim as the top Major League Baseball prospect playing in the KBO: 

"He is a good athlete with good instincts at the position and has the average arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield. He projects to be an above-average hitter and has enough power to hit 12-15 home runs per year in the majors. Kim is likely to face an adjustment period at the plate when he first arrives in the U.S., but he has the athleticism and twitch to adjust and eventually hit major league velocity."

The Padres aren't lacking for infielders at the moment. Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. finished in the top four in NL MVP voting last season. Jake Cronenworth was the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up after posting an .831 OPS in 54 games. 

Cronenworth primarily plays second base, but he played multiple infield positions last season. Kim will presumably be asked to play second base if he signs with the Padres because Tatis is entrenched at shortstop.