Bogaerts moving to 2B to enable Kim to take over as Padres’ shortstop

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Xander Bogaerts is moving to second base to clear the way for 2023 Gold Glove utilityman Ha-Seong Kim to take over the San Diego Padres’ shortstop.

This move comes one year after the Padres signed Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract. Bogaerts, who spent 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox before joining the Padres, has been a shortstop throughout his career.

“I can’t say it’s like etched in stone, 100%, we’re going to let him do it, but we’re going to see what it looks like,” Padres manager Mike Shildt told reporters Friday. “We’re going to evaluate it. He’s all-in right now to go over, give it his full due.”

Bogaerts told reporters he was comfortable with the plan to switch.

“I was like, ‘Listen, man, if this is the way that you guys view the team is better,’ “ Bogaerts said. “I respect Kim, especially defensively. I actually admire him a lot.”

Bogaerts, 31, has never played second base during a professional career that started in 2011. The four-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion has made 1,325 big league starts at shortstop and 50 at third base.

“The only reason I came here was to win a World Series,” Bogaerts said. “If this is the way that we’re going to get one, so be it. I was just thinking I won one at third base. I won one at shortstop. It would be very nice to win one at second base.”

Bogaerts played third base in the 2013 World Series and shortstop in the 2018 World Series with the Red Sox.

The shift would enable the Padres to put a reigning Gold Glove winner at the most important position in the infield.

Kim, 28, started 98 games at second base, 29 at third and 16 at shortstop last season. But he has more career starts at shortstop than at any other position.

Shildt praised Bogaerts for showing a team-first approach and realizing the importance in having Kim at shortstop.

“I don’t use this word a lot, but my admiration for Xander Bogaerts went through the roof in this transition,” Shildt said.

Shildt is taking over as San Diego’s manager this season after spending the last two years as a coach on Bob Melvin’s Padres staff. Melvin left the Padres to manage the San Francisco Giants.

Bogaerts batted .285 with a .350 on-base percentage, .440 slugging percentage, 19 homers, 58 RBIs and 19 steals in 155 games with the Padres last season. Kim hit .260 with a .351 on-base percentage, .398 slugging percentage, 17 homers, 60 RBIs and 38 steals in 152 games.



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