After the recent signing of Xander Bogaerts and the trade for Juan Soto last August, it’s clear that it’s title or bust in San Diego. However, it’s possible that the Padres may not be done altering its roster just yet. In fact, San Diego may be interested in moving two players in outfielder Trent Grisham and infielder Ha-Seong Kim. Reports suggest the the Padres are listening on trade offers for the two, but does trading either make sense for San Diego?
A Look at Grisham and Kim
Let’s start off with a look at Trent Grisham. Grisham had a season to forget last season, as the Padres outfielder hit just .184/.284/.341 over 524 plate appearances. The 26-year-old possesses plenty of pop, as indicated by his 19 homers in 2022, and the ability to work counts. Despite the extremely low batting average, Grisham was one of the best in the game last season in terms of chase rates and BB%. On the other hand, the high strikeout (28.4%) and Weak% (10.3%) rates indicate that Grisham was overwhelmed by opposing pitchers last season.
Despite the rough numbers from 2021, it’s hard to give up completely on Grisham. Just two years prior, Grisham hit .251 with 10 home runs during the shortened 2020 season. And while the 26-year-old did struggle throughout 2022, the outfielder made quite the impact during the postseason. Grisham batted .381 (8-for-23) over the first two rounds with three home runs. It was far from an ideal campaign in 2022 for Grisham, but the outfielder still possesses the ability to impact games with his power and athletic ability.
Now, let’s move on to Ha-Seong Kim. Like Grisham, Kim is a tremendous athlete and defender. Kim recorded +8 Outs Above Average in 2022, a tally that was among the best in baseball last season. The 27-year-old doesn’t possess fantastic power, but does have good plate discipline and a serviceable hit tool. Kim cracked 43 extra base hits last season and posted an OPS of .702, an improvement from the .622 OPS the infielder recorded in 2021.
Kim recorded a bWAR of 5.1 in 2022, the second-highest on the Padres last season.
A Look at the Padres for 2023
It’s understandable as to why San Diego is interested in the idea of moving either Grisham, Kim, or both before the start of the 2023 season. Per Spotrac, the Padres are expected to surpass the $233 million luxury tax threshold, thanks to the hefty contracts of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Yu Darvish, and offseason acquisition Xander Bogaerts. Kim is expected to earn $7 million in 2023, while Grisham is arbitration-eligible.
While Kim is a superior defender than Bogaerts, the new Padres infielder will take over shortstop. Kim has played second base in the past, and could move there should San Diego decide to keep the third-year player. However, a Kim trade could net the Padres an additional $7 million to allocate elsewhere and either an asset that could be used for the MLB roster, or a prospect that could help a depleted farm system. It’s a tough call, but should San Diego want to do a deal, there will be a number of suitors.
A Grisham deal, on the other hand, is much less of a complicated situation. With Tatis Jr. set to rejoin San Diego early in 2023 after the complete of his PED suspension, the 23-year-old will most likely move to center field. There was some talk of moving Tatis Jr. to center last season, but it’s nearly a given that he’s destined to move there now with the acquisition of Bogaerts. A move to center could set up an outfield that features Tatis Jr., alongside Juan Soto and José Azocar. New Padre Matt Carpenter, who saw time in both left and right with the Yankees in 2022, could also factor into the equation.
Should that be the case, Grisham is the clear odd man out. Moving Grisham would not only give the toolsy 26-year-old a fresh start, but it would also allow the Padres to free up some cash.