Before making San Diego his new baseball home, Ha-Seong Kim was courted by the Red Sox, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The South Korean infielder ultimately signed with the Padres for four-years, $28MM, in part because he preferred the weather of a west coast team, writes Abraham. Blue skies and sunshine are a clear tiebreak in the Friars’ favor, not to mention the current competitive advantage the Padres hold over the Red Sox. He’ll have a shorter leash in San Diego with Jake Cronenworth pushing for reps, but with their rebuilt rotation, the Padres figure to be an exciting franchise for which to suit up in 2021, even on days when he has to watch from the bench.
For Boston, Kim would have fit nicely into their rebuilding efforts given his youth, versatility, and short-term fit at second base. They have been active in the international market thus far this winter, but without much to show for it. Kim would have found himself among peers by age in Boston, with Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, and Marcus Wilson all within a year of Kim’s 25.2 years of age. Alas, Chavis remains the likeliest volume producer at the keystone for Alex Cora’s squad, at least until Jeter Downs or someone else proves ready. Elsewhere…
- Speaking of the Red Sox, they continue to make broad inroads into the free agent market, looking primarily for pitchers and a second baseman. Kiké Hernández is one target that remains a possibility, said Masslive’s Chris Cotillo on the IV The Love Of Sports podcast. Internally, Christian Arroyo continues to be a name of interest, notes Cotillo, but he’s unlikely to be the full-stop, number-one option at second base entering the season. On the pitching side, Cotillo suggests Boston could add two starters for the rotation before opening day.
- They remain in contact with long-time centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., per Steve Hewitt of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox have filled their dance card in the outfield, at least in terms of name recognition with Alex Verdugo, Andrew Benintendi, and Hunter Renfroe on the roster, but all three carry some uncertainty – and none of the three are true centerfielders. Jarren Duran also figures to push for a big league role this season. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom indicated that a resolution on this front probably isn’t coming in the near-term. A relative dearth of centerfield options on the open market gives JBJ a potentially robust collection of suitors to consider.