Bogaerts admits he’s on the verge of a free agency invite

“As you will soon see…there is a position change.”

Kim Ha-seong, 28, cautiously broached the subject of a position change when he met with the media during the first day of the San Diego Padres’ 2024 spring training workouts at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona, on Sunday (Feb. 17).

“I think I’m going to have to be ready,” he said with a smile on his face, though he was noncommittal. In a pregame interview with San Diego manager Mike Shields, the position change was made official. He would move from second base to shortstop. “I first heard about it this morning. I was surprised,” Kim said.

The opportunity to maximize his value ahead of the free agency season has arrived.

Kim was given the starting shortstop job in 2022 after Fernando Tatis Jr.’s wrist injury and suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. He was a Gold Glove finalist for the National League (NL) shortstop award that year for his defense.

However, after the season, he moved to second base last year when San Diego signed “big gun” shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million deal. Despite losing his primary position, Kim has been one of the best defensive players in the league at second base, covering third base and shortstop. 스포츠토토 He made history when he won the National League (NL) Gold Glove for utility, becoming the first Asian infielder to win the award.

And on the morning of his first official spring training workout, Kim was told by manager Schultz, “You’re going to shortstop this year.” The position switch between Kim and Bogaerts was discussed at the club level after last year’s season ended, and the new manager traveled to Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands, during the offseason to talk to Bogaerts about it.

Bogaerts didn’t hit as well as expected last year,

But his defensive stats at shortstop had dipped a bit. The idea of a Bogaerts-Kim combination at second base would take some of the defensive pressure off of Bogaerts while maximizing Kim’s defense. Bogaerts’ price tag was high, but he didn’t take it personally.

“My respect for him peaked during the position change,” Schildt said. He did a great job at shortstop last year and had a positive impact on our team. At the same time, we recognize the value of Ha-Sung Kim as a shortstop. He was open to it for the team. I have a lot of respect for him,” he said.

“Last year, Kim was a Gold Glove candidate at shortstop, but he moved to second base. Fernando Tatis Jr. was a shortstop two years ago and came back last year and played right field and won a Platinum Glove. Jake Cronenworth, a two-time All-Star at second base, willingly moved to first base and had a great year defensively. There are great examples of team and individual success.”

“The only reason I came to San Diego is to win a World Series,” Bogartz said. If I can win it at second base instead of shortstop, that’s good. I look at it positively,” he said. “I didn’t expect to be out of shortstop this early, but I’ve done well enough. I’ve got Kim Ha-seong, and it’s time to move on (from shortstop),” he said.

Kim Ha-seong, who also practiced defense at shortstop

“I don’t think there was much of a problem because it’s my usual position. I feel that I need to prepare better.” “Bogaerts made a concession, not a concession. It’s a big decision. It’s a big decision for the team, so I have to live up to it,” he said.

As a shortstop instead of a second baseman, Kim’s value as a free agent has also increased. If he maintains last year’s hitting productivity at shortstop, he could earn a contract worth well over $100 million. “It has to help the team do well, not just benefit me,” Kim said. If I do well, free agency will follow me. I think it will definitely get worse if I follow free agency. If I do my best every day like I have been doing, good results will come.”

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