When Kim’s deal with the San Diego Padres was announced in January 2021, the 4+1 year, $39 million maximum contract was widely considered to be smaller than local expectations.카지노사이트
It was four years and $28 million in guaranteed money, with an $8 million mutual option for a fifth year after the fourth season. The contract can only be extended if both the player and the club agree. The buyout is $2 million.
The reason for the smaller contract than local expectations was Kim himself. MLB Network’s John Heyman, a columnist and expert on the transfer market, wrote at the time, “Kim was offered a contract of up to six years. But Kim took a chance on himself. He’ll be young in his next free agency. Kim opted for a smaller contract, a shorter term, and a shot at the ‘jackpot’ later. He took a gamble and an adventure by challenging himself to play at the highest level.
In his debut season in 2021, Kim’s risk seemed reckless. The gamble seemed doomed to failure. He was unable to adapt to the harder pitches of the major leagues, and his batting, which had dominated the KBO, became a liability. He showed off his defensive prowess at every position in the infield, but the flip side of that is that he didn’t fully own his position. Kim was a backup player. In 117 games (63 starts) without a fixed position, he batted just 2-for-54 (267 at-bats) with eight home runs, 34 RBIs and a .622 OPS.
In a recent interview on Kang’s YouTube channel, Kim reflected on his rookie season, saying, “The first year was really, really hard, and I was thinking, ‘Should I give up and go back to Korea?’ I was thinking, ‘Why couldn’t I give up then, because I was so broken that even if I went back to Korea, I wouldn’t be able to play baseball like I did in Korea. I was so psychologically and mentally broken,” he said.
The following year, however, Kim was determined and seized the opportunities that came his way. When Fernando Tatis Jr. was injured and suspended for the season for taking banned substances, he took over the shortstop position and proved to be just what the team needed.
Now, this year, Kim has firmly established himself among the team’s superstars in the major leagues. His defensive prowess, recognised since his rookie season, is now among the best in the league with some of the best data. While he is the mainstay at second base, he can also move around to fill in at third base and shortstop when needed, and his defence is impeccable. He is also showing off his potential at the plate, where he is showing off the power he had in the KBO.
In 110 games, he’s batting .288 (106-for-368) with 15 home runs, 41 doubles, 63 RBI, 27 runs scored, and an OPS of .835. Narrowing it down to the second half of the season, Kim is batting 30-for-93 with seven home runs, 12 doubles, 19 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a 1.064 OPS.
His 3-for-7 second-half performance ranks second in the majors. Freddie Freeman (LA Dodgers) is first with a 4-for-3 record. Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta) is third at 3.77. Between Freeman, the defending MVP, and Acuña, the favourite for this year’s MVP, Kim is right up there. He’s also ninth in the majors in late-season OPS. Machado, Bogart, Tatis, Jr. and other All-Stars have been the most productive players on San Diego’s team, outperforming their superstar counterparts.
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The San Diego Union-Tribune, a local media outlet, reported on 11 November that, at the conclusion of the recent series against Seattle, “Kim stole a career-high three bases in 10 days and is tied for fourth in the National League with 27 stolen bases on the season. It’s the most by a San Diego player in a single season since Travis Jankowski (30) in 2016.” ‘He also extended his hitting streak to a career-long 15 games, the 10th-longest in the majors this season. In 25 games since 9 July, he is 3-for-8 with a 1.057 OPS, the best hitter on the team during that span,” highlighting Kim’s late-season explosion.
The local media is also talking about Kim’s extension. In a Q&A session with fans, Dennis Lin, a San Diego reporter for North American sports media outlet The Athletic, said, “At this point, Kim is more likely to get a long-term contract than other players,” adding, “San Diego would like to keep Soto, Snell and Hader, and could make a serious effort to do so. But it will be difficult due to market conditions, team salary cap space, and roster construction issues.
“Kim’s value is also skyrocketing, so it may not be easy to sign him to an extension. Still, it’s unlikely he’ll demand as much money as Soto, Snell, or Hader,” and “it’s hard to imagine San Diego letting go of such a productive player who’s a fan favourite.” The outlook for re-signing Kim is positive.
However, in the third year of his contract, Kim’s value is increasing day by day. It’s safe to say he’s at his lowest value now. Wins Above Replacement (WAR), a metric used to evaluate value, is the data behind Kim’s greatness. His 5.9 bWAR (Baseball Reference) ranks him second among all outfielders and his 4.4 fWAR (FanGraphs) ranks him eighth among all outfielders. According to Fangraphs, Kim’s current performance is worth $35.2 million in salary.
This is not how salaries are set. It’s just an indicator of how much he’s worth. Still, he has all the makings of the “jackpot” that every major league player wants. Some local media outlets have rated him as a player who could get a $150 million contract.
Importantly, Kim proved his confidence before his contract was up. Three years ago, if he had chosen stability over risk and accepted a five- to six-year contract, he would have been less likely to discuss an extension and much less likely to win the jackpot. At this point, there is no reason for Kim to trigger his mutual option. He’s proven himself, and at the end of the day, there’s a big payday waiting for him.