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Ha-Seong Kim Likely To Be Posted After Thanksgiving

Kiwoom Heroes star Ha-Seong Kim is one of the most intriguing names in this year’s free agent market, and he will soon become available to speak with Major League teams.  The expectation is that Kim will be posted soon after the Thanksgiving break, Heroes general manager Chi-Hyun Kim told reporters (including ESPN’s Daniel Kim) today.  That would put Kim in line to hit the posting market around November 30 or December 1.

The KBO League recently pushed its posting period from November 10 to December 14 due to scheduling changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, as opposed to the usual November 1-December 5 window.  The exact date doesn’t really have any impact for Kim, as there is no longer any time limit on how long a player has to reach a deal with an MLB club.  The newer posting rules instituted between MLB and the KBO League removed that 30-day window, as the new rules focus on the size of the posting fee received by the KBO team based on the value of the Major League contract signed by the player in question.

Kim’s official entry into the open market could impact the overall picture for other free agent infielders, however.  Primarily a shortstop, teams might prefer to explore their chances at signing Kim before turning to other options like Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons, or trade target Francisco Lindor.  Since there has been speculation that a Major League team could also deploy Kim as a second baseman, third baseman, or as a super-utility piece all over the infield, Kim’s presence could also somewhat hold up the second base and third base free agent markets.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Kim would be a cheaper option than proven MLB players, however.  MLB Trade Rumors projected Kim for a five-year, $40MM deal (ranking him seventh on our Top 50 Free Agents list), owing the big numbers he has already posted over six full KBO seasons, his 25-year-old age, and the fact that he’ll have a wider market than some other free agents.  Kim’s age means that teams who are still a year or two away from contention will be in the mix to sign him, plus those teams can also offer immediate everyday playing time, whereas many contenders have fewer glaring holes around their infield.

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