Kiwoom Heroes to post star shortstop Ha-Seong Kim on Wednesday
Kim will become one of the hottest commodities on the free agent market
Kim hit a career-high 30 homers for the Heroes in 2020
Earlier today, the NC Dinos beat the Doosan Bears to capture the team’s first-ever Korean Series title. Now that the 2020 KBO season is finally in the rearview mirror, Korean clubs can start to cash-in on star players making the jump to Major League Baseball.
According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, the Kiwoom Heroes are preparing to post star shortstop Ha-Seong Kim on Wednesday. The 30-day period that MLB clubs will have to negotiate a contract with Kim will open at 8:00 am Eastern on November 26.
#KBO news: Kiwoom Heroes will post shortstop Kim Ha-seong on Wednesday. They'll first ask KBO to inform MLB, which will then notify its 30 clubs of Kim's availability. It will open a 30-day negotiating window (8 a.m. ET the morning after to 5 p.m. ET on 30th day)
Kim will instantly become one of the hottest commodities among all free agents in this year’s class. Heroes general manager Chi-Hyun Kim recently told reporters that the shortstop would become available to prospective MLB clubs around Thanksgiving.
The KBO pushed its posting period back from November 10 until December 14 as a result of the scheduling changes that became necessary as a result of the pandemic. Kim’s primary position is shortstop, which could affect the markets for other free agents like Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, or Andrelton Simmons. Kim’s availability may also affect the trade market for Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Kim’s Impressive Resume
Kim, who turned 25 late last month, has emerged as one of the best all-around players in the KBO over the past few years. He slashed .306/.397/.523 this past season in 138 games for the Heroes with 30 homers, 109 runs batted in, and 111 runs scored. He also stole 23 bases while playing primarily as a shortstop. He also slotted in at third base on occasion.
If Kim secures a deal worth at least $25 million in total value, the Heroes will earn 20 percent of the total amount of the contract as a transfer fee.
The 30 Home Runs Was a Career-High for Kim
As one of the best prospects on the market, Kim will likely attract a lucrative deal from an MLB club. MLB Trade Rumors predicted Kim would be able to fetch a five-year deal worth upwards of $40 million, which could turn into a bargain if his skills translate to the big league level. Kim ranked seventh on MLB Trade Rumors’ list of top-50 free agents on the market this winter.
Kim has been a regular with the Heroes since breaking in as a full-time starter back in 2015. He has played in at least 129 games in every season since ’14 after making his KBO debut in 2014.
JP Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Toronto Blue Jays are one of the teams interested in taking a look at Kim. The Blue Jays would be an interesting fit considering the team is already well-stocked at the middle infield positions between Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is also the team’s current top third baseman, but Guerrero could become a full-time first baseman if the Jays need to clear room for Kim on the infield.
Mets Could Have Interest
The New York Mets could emerge as a potential destination for Kim, as well. The Mets just lost incumbent second baseman Robinson Cano for all of 2021 due to a PED suspension. New York has been linked with veteran second baseman DJ LeMahieu on the free-agent market, but Kim could potentially be signed for less.
Baseball’s free-agent market has been slow to develop amid the financial uncertainty surrounding the league on the heels of the 2020 campaign.
Teams are expecting to play a full 162-game season in 2021, but there are still questions about whether fans will be permitted to attend games once the season begins in April.
To this point, there have only been a handful of noteworthy deals. The Braves signed veteran starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a one-year deal earlier on Tuesday, but the vast majority of big-name free agents are still available.
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