“Ha-Sung Kim is a near-perfect fit in the Pittsburgh infield.”
Should I laugh or cry. Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) pushes Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates) out of the way? It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s not an unreasonable scenario either. Rum Bunter, who covers the Pittsburgh Pirates for Fansided, has claimed that Pittsburgh is interested in Ha-Sung Kim.
Pittsburgh’s second basemen this season have been Bae Ji-Hwan, Rodolfo Castro, Nick Gonzalez, Mark Matthias, and Leover Peguero. None of them had more than a 2.5 wRC+ and 0.7 OPS. This year’s National League Utility Gold Glove winner and offensive force, Ha-Sung Kim, is a perfect fit.
Rum Bunter tweeted on Nov. 11, “San Diego is looking to cut payroll, but that doesn’t mean giving away players for free. That doesn’t mean they won’t trade short-term veterans, one of which is Kim Ha-Sung, who fits almost perfectly in the Pittsburgh infield.”
Rum Bunter noted that Kim’s offense has continued to improve from his rookie year in 2021. His adjusted wRC+ is 71, 106, and 112 over the three years, which he says is evidence of progress. And his defense, he says, “has been steady. He’s one of the best defensive infielders in the majors.” OAA and DRS numbers were used in the evaluation. 토토사이트
In the end, Rum Bunter concluded, “Pittsburgh would have arguably the best defensive infield in the majors if they acquired Kim. Brian Hays at third base, Jared Triolo at first base, and Kim at second base are better than a potential Gold Glove winner. Even if O’Neil Cruz is the weakest, he can be an average defender. Ground balls will be hard to get past this group.”
San Diego is a payroll-driven organization, so Kim isn’t completely trade-proof. However, with Juan Soto being the top free agent at this point and the official opening game in Seoul next year against the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s highly unlikely that Kim will be traded in the offseason. That means his value has increased.
If Kim were to be traded to Pittsburgh, Bae Ji-hwan’s position would shrink. Kim is a $39 million second baseman and a gold glove infielder. While it’s nice to have two Korean beasts in the lineup, the reality is that Bae will take a hit. Bae can play the outfield, but he’s more likely to see time in the infield. He’ll need to show more with his bat next year.