MLB Rumors: Jung Hoo Lee, Harrison Bader Drawing Interest from Giants, Padres

Adam Wells

Two NL West rivals are keeping an eye on the centerfield market, including Harrison Bader and Jung Hoo Lee.

Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres are "active" on centerfielders right now, with Bader cited as a potential option.

Lee, who was posted by the Kiwoom Heroes on Monday, was also cited as being a player of interest to both clubs.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post and MLB Network reported on Wednesday that things "are already percolating" for Lee, with the Padres cited as a potential landing spot if they finalized the Juan Soto trade.

Soto was officially traded to the New York Yankees late Wednesday night in a seven-player deal that sent four pitchers and catcher Kyle Higashioka to San Diego.

The Giants' fascination with Lee dates back almost one year, at least. They had a scout in South Korea watching him take batting practice in preseason camp in February.

Lee has a long track record of success in the KBO, including winning Rookie of the Year in 2017 and being named league MVP in 2022. The 25-year-old owns a .340/.407/.491 slash line with 65 homers and 69 stolen bases in 884 career games.

MLB.com's Michael Clair noted Lee is considered KBO's best pure hitter. He has more walks than strikeouts in each of the past five seasons and has never struck out more than 67 times in a single season.

Bader split time between the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds in 2023. He hit .232/.274/.348 with seven homers and 20 stolen bases in 98 games last season.

Among all centerfielders who have played at least 4,000 innings since 2017, Bader ranks second in FanGraphs defensive value and fourth in defensive runs saved.

The Padres had to include Trent Grisham in the Soto deal, so they need a new starting centerfielder in 2024.

Luis Matos was San Francisco's primary starter at the position last season. The 21-year-old hit just .250/.319/.342 as a rookie.


Read 0 Comments

Download the app for comments Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Install the App
Bleacher Report