“We see him as a huge part of our team” - Padres' A.J. Preller opens up about trade rumors surrounding shortstop Ha-Seong Kim

San Diego Padres v Houston Astros
San Diego Padres v Houston Astros

San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller has listened to trade talks involving Ha-Seong Kim in the last few weeks. Kim is coming off a fabulous season, winning the NL Gold Glove Award as a utility player.

Kim had a season where he saw career-highs in nearly all offensive categories. In 152 games, he hit .260/.351/.398 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs. Preller would like to keep the slugger in the organization and does not see the team moving on from him this year.

He talked about how much Kim means to the team, in an interview on MLB.com.

"We see him as a huge part of our team," Preller said. "Most likely, if we're going to play well, it's Ha-Seong Kim in the middle of the infield"

While the team has some holes heading into Spring Training, trading Kim does not seem to be of interest to the Padres, even if the young infielder has gained strong interest from teams.

San Diego has recently worked to fill one of the holes in the outfield. On Monday, it signed veteran outfielder Jurickson Profar on a one-year deal.

Profar was with the team from 2020 to 2022 and spent part of the 2023 season with the Rockies before returning to San Diego. His arrival gives the club a full outfield.

Padres are going to need another impressive season from Ha-Seong Kim

San Diego Padres Ha-Seong Kim
San Diego Padres Ha-Seong Kim

The Padres entered the 2023 season with a lot of hype. They had just signed Xander Bogaerts and were getting the return of Fernando Tatis Jr., but they spent much of the season playing catchup. They finished third place in the NL West, missing the postseason.

This year, the team will look a bit different. Juan Soto is now a member of the Yankees, while All-Star closer Josh Hader recently signed a deal with the Astros. NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell still sits on the open market, but re-signing him seems highly unlikely.

Players like Manny Machado and Ha-Seong Kim must step up this season for this squad, especially with how much better some of the other teams in the league have gotten over the offseason.

The NL West is going to be a tough division, so San Diego will have their work cut out for them this year.

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Edited by Bhargav