It is significant that Kim Ha-seong ranked 8th in the National League (NL) in the MVP mock vote announced by MLB.com on the 8th (hereafter Korean time).
Of course, this season’s NL MVP 1st choice candidate is Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. He leads the NL in runs scored and stolen bases, and is set to become the first player in major league history to hit 30 home runs and steal 60 bases. Los Angeles Dodgers Freddy Freeman and Mookie Betts are also worthy MVP candidates. The fact that Ha-seong Kim was included in the list of MVP candidates that only the best gathered is symbolic rather than the expectation that he will become an actual MVP.
Kim Ha-seong was not mentioned at all in the MVP mock voting conducted by MLB.com three times in May, June, and July. In the second half, while showing off an explosive sense of hitting, the media and fans are paying attention as they entered the top ranks in each NL batting category.
As of this day, Kim Ha-seong is 9th in batting average (0.288), 8th in on-base percentage (0.384), 15th in OPS (0.838), 22nd in runs scored (61), and 6th in stolen bases (24) in the NL. Of course, he leads the team in batting average, second in on-base percentage and OPS behind Juan Soto, and third in runs scored behind Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr.
In 23 games in the second half, he recorded 0.384 (33 hits in 86 at-bats), 5 homers, 10 RBIs, 18 runs, an on-base percentage of 0.490, and an OPS of 1.083. In the second half, he is second to Freeman (0.420), third in on-base percentage, and fifth in OPS. It is a figure that has firmly established itself as the leadoff of San Diego, both in name and reality.
Finally, the issue of Kim Ha-sung’s contract extension began to be discussed.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, a leading newspaper in the San Diego area, reported on the 8th that ‘the Padres club has increased the ticket price for the next season by an average of 9%’ and said, ‘If the Padres sign an extension contract with Juan Soto, who will become a free agent after the 2024 season, the payroll will be can increase rapidly. Soto rejected the Washington Nationals’ offer of an extension of $440 million last summer,’ he said. ‘Ha-seong Kim also has a mutual option of $8 million in annual salary after the 2024 season. If the Padres are trying to sign Ha-sung Kim on a long-term contract, a hefty raise is inevitable.”
Kim Ha-seong signed a contract three years ago with a mutual option of $28 million for the fourth year and $8 million for the fifth year. Next year, the fourth year of his contract, is effectively the last season. There is no reason for Kim Ha-seong, who has risen to the top class, to accept the 2025 option for only $8 million. When next season is over, he can give up his option and go to the free agent market.
It is the policy direction of the San Diego club to bind key players like Kim Ha-seong to long-term contracts before becoming free agents. San Diego signed extension contracts with Joe Musgrove, Manny Machado, Darvish Yu, and Jake Cronenworth since last summer. The players who need to extend their contracts after this season are Kim Ha-seong and Soto. Soto will also be eligible for free agency after the season next year.
The right time to extend the contract with the two players is after this winter and before the trade deadline next year. It is unknown which San Diego will prioritize Ha-seong Kim or Soto, but whoever it is, it is necessary to prepare an astronomical amount of funds.
It is reasonable to assume that the value of Kim Ha-seong has soared to more than $20 million in average annual salary (AAV).안전놀이터
On the 5th, the ‘East Village Times’, which covers sports in the San Diego area, published an article titled ‘The Padres should prioritize extending the contract with Ha-sung Kim’ and said, ‘Ha-sung Kim’s growth, performance, and age summed up 7 years and 1 year. We need to give about 500 million dollars. It is to hold on to Kim Ha-seong, who will turn 28 in October, until the 35-year-old season.” AAV is $21.4 million.
The biggest contract ever for an Asian player was Masahiro Tanaka’s $155 million contract with the New York Yankees in 2014. The 7-year, $130 million that Choo Shin-soo received when he joined the Texas Rangers in 2014 is second, and the six-year, $126 million agreed upon by Darvish when he signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs in February 2018 is third.
Ha-seong Kim can surpass them all. Considering Kim Ha-sung’s age, a 7-year contract for $25 million in AAV and a total of $175 million is not impossible.