Yankees Trade Rumors: NY Expected to Contact Rangers About Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Adam WellsNovember 30, 2021

Texas Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa looks on during batting practice before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
AP Photo/Terrance Williams

In the aftermath of their agreements with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, the Texas Rangers could turn to the trade market to free up space in their infield.

Per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the New York Yankees are pursuing a trade with the Rangers for 2020 Gold Glove winner Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday the Rangers agreed to a seven-year, $175 million deal with Semien.

On Monday, Passan reported Seager agreed to join the Rangers on a 10-year, $325 million contract.

Kiner-Falefa has played shortstop, third base and catcher in his career. He won the AL Gold Glove at third base last year after leading the league with seven defensive runs saved, per FanGraphs.

After Elvis Andrus was traded to the Oakland Athletics before the start of the 2021 campaign, the Rangers moved Kiner-Falefa over to shortstop. His defense didn't suffer, as he ranked third among all qualified players at the position with 10 defensive runs saved.

Kiner-Falefa doesn't boast a lot of power in his swing, but he makes enough contact to hit for a solid average. The 26-year-old has a .265/.316/.354 slash line in 392 games with the Rangers.

Since the start of 2020, Kiner-Falefa has a .273 batting average with 11 homers and 63 RBI in 216 games.

The Yankees ranked 22nd in FanGraphs' defensive value in 2021. Their shortstops, primarily Gleyber Torres, finished tied for 26th in MLB with minus-15 defensive runs saved.

Kiner-Falefa wouldn't be the big splash acquisition that Yankees fans would get excited about, but his defensive skill set would be an upgrade for the team in 2022 and beyond.