“With competent shortstop Kim Ha-sung…”Why did you recruit Bogartz?” SD chief criticized for FA failure

August 12, 2023 0 Comments

AJ Preller , the general manager of the San Diego Padres, is nicknamed ‘Madman’. After taking office as general manager of San Diego in August 2014, he constantly recruited large players through aggressive trades and free agent contracts. He is famous for being a man of tenacity who moves recklessly when he is stuck in something.

Even last winter, General Manager Preller surprised everyone with a move that exceeded expectations. Big shot shortstop Zander Bogaerts entered the free agency market after signing long-term extensions with Manny Machado (11 years, $350 million), Darvish Yu (6 years, $108 million) and Jake Cronenworth (7 years, $80 million). was a surprise acquisition for 280 million dollars in 11 years.

No one knew that Bogatz would be recruited when there were only two shortstops in the team, including Kim Ha-seong, who was nominated for last year’s National League (NL) Gold Glove shortstop, and Fernando Tatis Jr., who is about to be lifted. With Bogatz Gassero, Kim Ha-sung moved to second base, and Tatis Jr. moved to right field, position traffic was controlled.

However, Bogartz is sluggish with a batting average of .265 (110 hits in 415 at-bats), 11 home runs, 37 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.727 in 109 games this season. Lowest performance since 2015 when he became a key player. He batted 3.8 with 6 home runs and 13 RBIs OPS 0.914 in March and April alone, but has not rebounded since May with a 2.5 batting average and 5 home runs and 24 RBIs OPS 0.661.

In addition to Bogartz, Machado (251 batting average, 21 home runs, 66 RBIs, OPS 765 in 99 games), Kronenworth (227 batting average, 9 home runs, 42 RBIs, OPS 693 in 113 games), and Darvish (8 wins, 7 losses, 4.19 ERA in 21 games) followed. The team also recorded 55 wins and 60 losses, ranking fourth in the National League West and seventh in the wild card, as the players who Lerer signed extra contracts did not meet expectations. As autumn baseball becomes difficult due to sluggish investment, the level of criticism against General Manager Freler is also increasing.

  • Severe criticism of Preller, “the general manager who is more interested in flashy contracts

The Athletic’, held a question-and-answer session with readers, and fans poured out their cries about the leader of Preller. One fan asked, “Why did you sign Bogatz when Tatis and Kim Ha-sung are very capable shortstops?” Couldn’t the money have been spent better this year or on a contract extension with Juan Soto?’

Another fan wrote, “San Diego has notified that tickets for the 2024 season will increase in price. The price of watching baseball in San Diego is rising, but the level is not rising.” He pointed out, “He put a burden on the club by signing an absurd contract for the amount that fans would have to pay for several years.”

‘These are appropriate questions. Concerns over the roster composition of General Manager Preller continue even now, 10 years after he took office. “He’s a tireless scout who has led the team to the playoffs twice in the past three years, but one of those came in a 60-game shortened season, and he’s in danger of being a huge disappointment for the second time in the last four years so far this year.”

“This year, San Diego has excelled in terms of defense and starting pitching, but the most anticipated offense in league history is disastrously lackluster. The bench and bullpen are struggling with a lack of depth.” It is natural to be curious about the team’s current position if it was used,’ he sympathized with the fans’ complaints.

There was a clear reason why San Diego recruited Bogarts. At the time of Bogatz’s acquisition in December of last year, there was a high possibility that Machado would become a free agent by opting out after this season. Reporter Lin also said, “San Diego has loved Bogarts for years and was looking for another proven hitter to back up Machado. “I thought of Bogatz as insurance against the possibility that Machado would opt out and go to another team,” he explained.

However, during spring training last February, San Diego signed an 11-year contract extension with Machado. Both Machado and Bogatz were guaranteed an ultra-long term until the 2033 41-year-old season. Both players are now in their 30s, so it’s likely to be a vicious contract in the long run. Reporter Lin said, “It is difficult to see that the two players will not become an obstacle to the team in the future.” ‘ he pinched.

  • Kim Ha-seong, who shines amid the sluggishness of high-paid stars, “One of the best contracts for the head of Preller”

Although Freler is on the defensive, recruiting Kim Ha-sung in January 2021 for a 4+1 year guarantee of $28 million and a maximum of $39 million is considered a success. At that time, there were concerns about “double power” by recruiting Kim Ha-sung at a time when infielders such as shortstop Tatis, second baseman Cronenworth and third baseman Machado were set up.

In his first year as a backup, he couldn’t erase the question of using Kim Ha-sung, but Kim Ha-sung, who established himself as the main shortstop last year due to an injury, moved to second base this year, and became a substitute for offense with an OPS of 0.835 and 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 27 steals in 110 games this season.

‘Kim Ha-seong is doing very well by any standard. Despite moving to a non-shortstop position this year, he ranks first among all infielders in terms of DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). He evaluated that he ranks second in wRC+ (adjusted scoring production) among full-time second basemen after Luis Araez (Miami), who is likely to be the first in NL batting.

“In San Diego, where several star players are having a sluggish season, Kim Ha-seong must be the most valuable player with the most pleasant surprise.” The contract was praised as one of the best works of Director Preller. In the midst of repeated failures, the Kim Ha-seong contract is recognized as the achievement of General Manager Preller.


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