Blue Jays: Why they missed out on Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim
According to reports from Korea, the Blue Jays were the preferred destination for Ha-Seong Kim. So, what went wrong?
Ha-seong Kim, a 25 year old shortstop from Korea, was one of the Blue Jays’ top free agent targets from the start of the offseason. Kim, one of the best young players in the KBO, was looking to make the jump to the MLB this offseason and received interest from numerous teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, and the St. Louis Cardinals. In the end, it was the San Diego Padres that won the race to sign one of the most coveted international free agents of the 2020-2021 free agent class.
Kim Preferred a Move to Toronto
According to the report from Korean sports outlet MBC Sports Plus, Ha-Seong Kim wanted to join Hyun-Jin Ryu in Toronto, while his family preferred a move to a West Coast team. The Blue Jays reportedly made numerous offers to Kim and were highly interested in acquiring his services.
The Blue Jays front office reportedly submitted their final offer today (December 28th) as Kim made his way to the US to complete his medical test before his move to an MLB team. Just hours later, Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported that Kim had agreed to join the San Diego Padres.
What Went Wrong?
According to the same report from MBC Sports Plus, the reason why Kim decided against a move to Toronto was because he wanted guaranteed playing time at the MLB level. None of the offers that the Blue Jays made, including their final proposal, included a “no minors” clause. On the other hand, the San Diego Padres were willing to guarantee MLB playing time to Kim, which ended up influencing his final decision.
Though missing on Kim is a disappointment for the Blue Jays, their offseason is far from over. The Blue Jays are reportedly still interested in numerous high-profile free agents, including the likes of DJ LeMahieu, George Springer, and J.T. Realmuto. Unfortunately for Blue Jays fans, it just might be a little while longer before something exciting happens.