Jake Cronenweth, who was once the second-best rookie in the National League, has become a trade candidate for the San Diego Padres, losing out to Ha-Sung Kim, who has become the team’s starting second baseman.
U.S. media outlet Bleacher Report recently ranked the most vulnerable positions for each of the 30 major league clubs in the 2023 season and suggested ways to bolster the lineup.
Kim’s name was mentioned by the Toronto Blue Jays, where Ryu spent four years starting in 2020. Second base was listed as Toronto’s most vulnerable position.
Toronto had 34-year-old veteran Whit Merrifield batting respectably at second base with a .700 OPS with 11 home runs, 67 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 145 games, but his dWAR (defensive wins above replacement) was a dismal -0.7. Backup infield utility Cavan Biggio’s dWAR was also -0.5.
As Bleacher Report notes, “The Blue Jays’ second base position wasn’t exactly a weakness this season, but the players who played it weren’t exactly great either. That doesn’t mean they can’t be criticized for being bad, though,” noted the ambiguous status of Toronto’s second base position.
Blitcherport’s suggestion for Toronto was to acquire San Diego infielder Jake Cronenwirth in a trade.
Cronenwirth, born in 1994, was a seventh-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. He then joined San Diego as the opposite of Hunter Renfroe and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2020 after batting .285 with 49 doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs and an .831 OPS in 54 games. He was named to the National League All-Star team for the second straight year in 2021, establishing himself as San Diego’s primary center fielder.
Cronenweth signed a seven-year, $80 million extension with San Diego in April on the strength of that performance, but he had a career-low season in his first year, batting .229 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .689 OPS in 127 games. With the arrival of shortstop sensation Xander Bogaerts, Kim struggled at first base, losing the second base job to Ha-Sung Kim. His dWAR dropped from 0.3 at second base, his primary position, to -0.3.
“If Toronto were to inquire about a possible trade of Cronenwirth to San Diego, they would at least not be wasting their time,” wrote Bleacher Report, recommending that Cronenwirth be moved, “He’s not a first baseman, and his path back to second base for the Padres is blocked by the excellent Ha-Sung Kim.” 굿모닝토토 주소
When Kim signed with San Diego three years ago, the question was, “Why San Diego? The Padres had a stellar infield, including superstars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Some speculated that Kim would either push Cronenwirth to the outfield or serve as an infield super-utility, but he ended up doing neither. He spent far more time on the bench than on the field.