San Diego Padres' infielder Kim Ha-seong has filed charges for alleged blackmail against a former teammate from his playing days in South Korea, local police said Thursday.
Kim, 28, claimed that the yet-unidentified former baseball player coerced a large sum of money as compensation for his injuries from a fistfight at a bar in 2021, not long before he made his Major League Baseball debut. The charges were filed at Gangnam Police Station in Gangnam-gu, southern, Seoul, where the altercation had occurred.
Kim and the now-retired player had been teammates when Kim played for the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.
Kim paid out a sizeable settlement worth over several thousand dollars, but the player in question repeatedly contacted him and asked for more money, according to Kim. His representatives claimed that it was "more of a scuffle than Kim beating him up," and that they have evidence to prove it.
Kim played for the Heroes for seven seasons before making the jump to the MLB in 2021. He is among the most successful South Korean baseball players of all time, and he became the first Korean to win the MLB's Gold Glove honors last season.