The San Diego Padres have added another big name this offseason, signing Korean star infielder Ha-seong Kim to a four-year contract.
The Padres formally announced the signing on Thursday.
Kim, 25, became one of the top infielders on the open market when he was posted earlier this month by the Kiwoom Heroes, his team in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Multiple media outlets reported earlier Monday that Kim was traveling to the United States ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline for MLB teams to sign posted KBO players. San Diego already made headlines Sunday night by acquiring ace left-hander Blake Snell in a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The versatile Kim primarily played shortstop and third base in the KBO, and it is unclear where he would play with the Padres, who already have superstars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado at shortstop and third base, respectively.
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The right-handed hitting Kim batted .306 with 30 home runs, 109 RBIs, 111 runs scored and 23 stolen bases this past campaign with Kiwoom.
The athletic fielder has mostly been a shortstop, but he also played some third base this year, after the Heroes acquired former Chicago Cubs All-Star Addison Russell in the summer.
The Padres are set at both shortstop and third base, with future MVP material Fernando Tatis Jr. and MVP-caliber All-Star Manny Machado.
Kim could slide over to second base as a platoon partner with the incumbent Jake Cronenworth, or either of the two could move to the outfield.
As per the posting agreement between the KBO and MLB, the Heroes will receive a fee from the Padres based on the guaranteed amount of Kim’s deal.
Because the guaranteed portion is $28 million, the Heroes get 20 percent of the first $25 million, plus 17.5 percent of the next $3 million. That comes to $5,525,000.
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