The Padres are not trading Ha-Seong Kim to Dodgers under any circumstance
The Los Angeles Dodgers don't necessarily need a shortstop, but that won't stop fans from fantasizing about the possibility of upgrading over Gavin Lux, who will seemingly take over the position after Trea Turner's departure.
In the end, the Dodgers passed on the second of two straight high-profile shortstop free agent classes when they opted not to sign any of Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson this offseason. They also didn't retain Corey Seager last offseason.
Loose rumors concerning Milwaukee Brewers star Willy Adames surfaced earlier in the offseason, but the trade market has yet to take off and it's hard to believe a small-market team would part with one of their best, cost-controlled assets with the expanded playoffs making anything possible.
So what are the Dodgers' realistic options? It seems like Lux at short and a combination of Max Muncy, Miguel Vargas and Chris Taylor splitting time between second base, third base and left field is the best scenario to avoid rocking the boat too much before Opening Day.
You know what isn't an option, though? The division-rival San Diego Padres trading Ha-Seong Kim to the Dodgers. There's no world in which AJ Preller would want to do that, and there's no world in which Andrew Friedman would pay the appropriate price in prospect capital to LA's biggest threat.
No, the Dodgers are not trading for Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim
Whether the rumors have any veracity to them or not, just count the Dodgers out now for your own mental health. Kim is entering his age-27 season after an impressive 2022 season (5.1 WAR, 2.2 dWAR) filling in as the Pads' starting shortstop with Fernando Tatis Jr. out.
Kim is legitimately entering his prime years and is signed through 2025 at $7 million per season. Is he an All-Star? No. But he's a valuable cost-effective piece that would be a welcome addition on almost any contender due to his versatility and good eye at the plate. He might've only finished with a .708 OPS and 107 OPS+ last year, but he was good for a 3.7 oWAR (per Baseball-Reference).
He's a switch-hitter who can play second base, shortstop and third base at an above-average level. The Padres aren't gifting such an asset to the Dodgers, and the Dodgers aren't overpaying for someone who isn't a bonafide All-Star.
There's certainly a case for the Dodgers to do this! If they're at all pondering a Chris Taylor trade, Kim would be a perfect replacement. The problem is that there's no case for the Padres, unless they want to make their most hated division rival better.
Just because the trade market hasn't come into focus yet doesn't mean it's smart to go off the rails with potential targets. Let's remain patient in the new year, shall we?
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