Last week, it was reported that the New York Mets were interested in Korean star Ha-Seong Kim, a 25-year old infielder capable of hitting for average, power, stealing some bases, taking some walks, and play good defense at a premium position: shortstop.
However, he is now off the board as Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports that the San Diego Padres have reached an agreement with him. It is the second high-profile addition (if the deal is completed) that the Friars make in less than 24 hours, as they traded pitcher Luis Patiño and other prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for ace Blake Snell.
Robinson Cano was supposed to be the New York Mets’ second baseman in the 2021 season after a big 2020. However, he was caught using performance-enhancing substances and was suspended for the next campaign.
The Mets, therefore, are looking for some star-power to their infield, but they do have some options. They can slide Jeff McNeil or Andres Gimenez to play at the keystone, as Amed Rosario could play shortstop or third base and JD Davis can also handle the hot corner if needed.
The Mets were after Kim’s services
But the Mets wanted Kim. According to Bae Ji-Heon of South Korea’s Naver News, they were one of six clubs in the hunt for the Korean infielder. The other teams were the Toronto Blue Jays, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, the Texas Rangers, and the San Diego Padres, where he will apparently land in the end.
Kim had multiple offers in the five-plus year range. He was posted by the Kiwoom Heroes and has until January 1st to sign.
In 2020, the Mets’ target slashed .310/.402/.530 with 28 home runs and 109 RBIs, adding 21 steals. He also won the Gold Glove at shortstop in 2018 and 2019.
The jump in talent level from the KBO to the MLB is usually quite high, but it sounds like the Mets lost a good one to the Padres.