From the moment the Yankees originally acquired Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Twins, the expectation has been that he’d serve as a bridge to top infield prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. At the time of the trade — which also saw Josh Donaldson and Ben Rortvedt go the Bronx while sending Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota — Kiner-Falefa had two years of club control remaining. That generally aligned with the timetables for both Peraza and Volpe, allowing them to develop in ’22 while Kiner-Falefa held down shortstop before perhaps moving into a utility role.
That’s generally how it’s played out. Peraza impressed in an 18-game cup of coffee late in the 2022 season and entered camp with a chance to break the Opening Day roster as the Yankees’ everyday shortstop. Volpe entered spring training as a longer shot to make the Opening Day roster for a variety of reasons. He’s a year younger than Peraza, has just 99 plate appearances above the Double-A level and is not currently on the 40-man roster. Still, he’s turned in an impressive spring training and begun to see some time at second base, further planting the seed that he could be in the Majors alongside Peraza sooner than later — certainly at some point in 2023.
The looming ascension of both Peraza and Volpe is enough to cloud Kiner-Falefa’s role on the team on its own, but last year’s strong debut from the versatile Oswaldo Cabrera only adds to the pile-up of infield talent. The switch-hitting 24-year-old worked primarily in the outfield last year but has experience at all four infield spots. After hitting .247/.312/.429 in 171 plate appearances as a 23-year-old rookie, he’s staked his claim to a spot on this year’s roster as well.
The Yankees were aware of this depth but still saw value in holding onto Kiner-Falefa at a generally reasonable $6MM price point for his final season of club control. Spring injuries are always possible, and there was certainly a scenario where any combination of Peraza, Volpe and/or Cabrera got to spring training and looked vastly overmatched at the plate. That hasn’t really been the case, and it’s made Kiner-Falefa’s role on the 2023 club look a bit more questionable — particularly with Gleyber Torres still penciled in at second base and Donaldson returning at the hot corner.
To that end, the Yankees have begun getting Kiner-Falefa some reps in the outfield. The 27-year-old said just this morning that he expects to play center field in Friday’s Grapefruit League game (Twitter link via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). With Harrison Bader out for the first several weeks of the season due to an oblique strain, Kiner-Falefa could bolster his value to the Yankees if he looks capable of handling some reps on the grass, be it in center field or in left. Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks can both handle all three outfield spots, so strictly excelling in center isn’t necessarily a requirement for Kiner-Falefa.
That said, it’s hard not to recognize the possibility of a Kiner-Falefa trade coming together at some point. The Yankees, after all, have been loath to cross the fourth and final luxury tax barrier. Their backs are right up against that threshold at the moment, and dealing Kiner-Falefa would trim $6MM off that luxury bill, creating some breathing room that could be a key for the front office this summer when the trade deadline is looming.
Beyond that, Kiner-Falefa is still a useful utility option for a team that perhaps doesn’t have as much infield depth as the Yankees — and perhaps even a starting-caliber option on a handful of clubs. Defensive metrics are split on his glovework at shortstop, but he can at the very least handle the position and has won a Gold Glove at third base. He’s a capable second baseman, has experience catching and could be an emergency option behind the dish, and now he’s at least familiarizing himself with the outfield.
At the plate, Kiner-Falefa isn’t a standout but can at least provide a solid batting average and get on base at a roughly league-average clip. He lacks power but also has plus bat-to-ball skills. The .269/.316/.348 slash he’s authored over the past three seasons is about 14% worse than league average, by measure of wRC+. It’s not good, but Kiner-Falefa is far from a black hole at the plate and has value with the glove and on the bases, where he’s gone 42-for-51 (82.4%) in stolen bases over the past two seasons.
Kiner-Falefa’s fit with the Yankees isn’t as clean as it was before Peraza, Volpe and Cabrera were MLB-ready or extremely close to it, but there’s probably still a role for him if Volpe opens the season in Triple-A. Even if the Yankees hold onto Kiner-Falefa, however, he could be pushed out of the picture by midseason if all of Peraza, Volpe and Cabrera remain healthy. A trade at some point, whether this summer or even before Opening Day, shouldn’t come as a shock — especially considering the aforementioned luxury-tax benefits a deal would bring about.
The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner opined in this morning’s mailbag column that he thinks the Yankees will explore a Kiner-Falefa trade between now and Opening Day. That certainly doesn’t mean a deal will come together, but it’s a good indicator of what could be on the horizon with regard to the versatile infielder’s future in the Bronx.
What do MLBTR readers think?
Tigers should take a flier on him. He can hold down the left side of the infield when needed and has good bat-to-ball skills. He fits the hitting philosophy that Harris has been talking about.
I like that fit. For Austin Meadows, maybe?
Why would the tigers want another light hitting IF who has a .663 OPS?
I mean, if you want to cherry pick his negatives and hide his positives; yeah, the move doesn’t make sense.
If you factor in that IKF is a versatile, high contact guy that has a history of good defense; the question becomes Why WOULDNT Detroit want him? Detroit has a ton of question marks up and down the lineup. IKF is a solid vet that could add some every day stability to the group.
Cherry pick his negatives? He can’t hit. That’s not cherry picking. That’s a fundamental requirement to be a starting position player in MLB. Kiner-Falefa is a backup utility infielder, not a starting caliber player.
Read below: 1.9 offensive WAR in 2022.
“CANT” hit? You think that’s a bit of hyperbole, maybe? Nobody is claiming that the guy is an all star, but he can hit. For power? No. Does that make him unfit for the Tigers? Again, no.
Obviously you’ve never seen him play by your comment….MKF is a contact hitter with limited power who generally puts the ball in play.
While he doesn’t possess great speed, he’s better than average on the bases and won’t hurt you there.
And the biggest bonus is that he has current experience in 3 different defensive positions (SS, 3rd Base, and Catcher) while winning a GG at 3rd base with the Rangers……
His demise has been overplayed by the NY tabloids because of Peraza and Volpe ascending in the Yankees plans….. back-up infielder I think not for sure.
wRC+ 82 career.
wRC+ 84 and 85 the last two full seasons, respectively.
If a guy is producing below wRC+ 90, they can’t hit. His rank was 10th worst among qualified batters in MLB last year and 9th worst the year prior. Sorry, he can’t hit.
MLB league batting average 2022: .243
IKF batting average 2022: .261
MLB league batting average 2021: .244
IKF batting average 2021: .271
MLB league batting average 2020: .245
IKF batting average 2020: .280
I really don’t think you can say a guy “can’t hit” when he is consistently well above batting league average. Like, well above
Well, you can say it, but it might be kind of silly.
Let me re-phrase for you. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa can’t generate offense at a respectable rate for an MLB position player.
I am perfectly ok with that
I do get where you are coming from as far as you’re looking for a much higher caliber player than IKF and I do get that; but I watched him play a ton every year before he got traded and he is not only a solid all around ball player; but for sure the man can hit the ball. He has legit bat to ball skills.
It doesn’t translate to big numbers cause there’s no power, and it absolutely caps his potential. But I’m a big BA defender; in this day and age, it’s hard to hit .264 for a career, man. And I think he is absolutely capable of getting it back up closer to .275. I think most of us picture him as a .275ish type guy.
Not the right comparison. The question one should be asking is whether a team wants IKF as a shortstop. To answer this, you need to compare him against other available shortstops, not ALL players.
In 2022, per your wRC+, he ranked 19 out of 21 qualified shortstops, However, there are 30 teams in MLB, which means 9 teams couldn’t even paste together enough shortstop to make the rankings.
So I think we can safely agree that IKF is below average offensively for a SS; but given he actually shows up and hits, the question is just how much does he hurt the team offensively. And, we have an answer for the by looking at WPA. IKF’s 2022 WPA actually was positive .53, which puts him 12th, and just slightly below average. The best-hitting SS was Lindor, with a WPA of 3.76. So Lindor’s offense was 3.26 “wins” better than IKF. But Bogaerts, who was in some demand as a FA, was only at .98, or less than half a game better than IKF.
This is not to say that IKF is a good hitter, or someone you want starting on a championship team. But he might be a decent choice for someone trying to cobble together a lineup for a non=contender.
Great stuff, @Gasu1
Except you glossed over the 100 MiLB shortstops available.
His upside is mostly his glove, but he’s someone who can do damage when he does get on base. Maybe he’s a change of scenery candidate.
He had a 1.9 Offensive WAR last year, and over 2 the previous year. That’s in addition to his positive defense, making him a 3 WAR player both years. He’s OK.
He’s not “okay.” Winning teams rarely employ a full time position player who is as poor at generating offense as Kiner-Falefa.
Astros and Martin Maldanado say hi
You changed your benchmark from “MLB position player” to “winning team”. No one said IKF is your choice if you’re trying to make the playoffs.
Motor City Beach Bum
Hard no! Baez is there and if not him then lots of options in house to test drive.
I just realized that this debate about IKF has revealed a few things;
1) WAR obviously likes hitting above league average
2) wrc+ doesn’t give a rats arse about your batting average
3) some people look at wrc+ as the end all be all, some, like myself; use it as a tool to reference with other statistical tools such as war, batting average.
4) despite all these stat tools, the desired outcome of the game offensively is still to get a hit; and IKF does that at well above league average. If I’m a manager, I need a base hit and I have IKF available; I am feeling optimistic.
The desired outcome is to not make an out. IKF makes a lot of outs with that .316 OBP. & he’s not exactly pairing that with a .300 batting average.
You’re a coach. Runner on third
Would you rather have a base hit; or a walk, and why?
There’s situational baseball all the time.
A walk is not always as good as hit. But a .260 batting average with limited walks is not better than a .240 guy who gives me a ton of walks a year. The goal is to keep the line moving. IKF isn’t the guy you have to drive in runs. A guy like that you want to not make an out by getting on base. He needs to be better than .260 BA w/ a .316 OBP when he provides 0 power with that to be a ML starter. Fine as a utility man
You can’t have a lineup of guys who only walk but if i have a non catcher with a .316 OBP he better be providing either elite D or have some pop to go along with that.
Yes. All that. Not debating anything there. BUT…. he can hit. And you’d always choose a hit over a walk, if you had the option.
I would take a walk over a hit almost every time. But with the caveat that working the count by drawing a walk can help the next guy up too. Not a bad thing to wear a pitcher out.
IKF is a guy you’d like to see draw more walks though because he can do damage on the base paths. & he’s obviously not getting a ton of opportunities to drive runs in with those 48 RBI’s last year.
That’s where we disagree. And I think the majority of managers would disagree with you.
You want to take pitches….because it then becomes easier to recognize what he is throwing, so you can get a hit.
You want to take pitches….to not swing at bad ones, not make contact on bad ones, to let those go
You want to take pitches to work the count, tax the pitcher, all those things.
But when a player smokes a first pitch fastball up the middle for a base knock; driving in that run from third, that increases the score for the home team. And the point of the game is to score more runs than the other team, not take the most pitches; even though taking more pitches MIGHT eventually helps you score more runs; that first pitch base knock over the pitches head actually accomplished the goal
I was talking about with no one on. If there’s a guy on 3rd you obviously want the hit. We don’t disagree at all from what I can tell.
It gets situational when you have a runner on first. It depends on the runner. If it’s an extremely slow guy who isn’t going from first to 3rd—I’d probably rather have the walk in that scenario. Obviously if someone is in scoring position—you want that hit. Every time.
& im obviously talking single v. Walk here. XBH>walk in any scenario
The walk over hit argument is bizarre to me.
Sooner or later you’re going to face solid pitchers who have control. Suddenly that .220 hitter with a lot of walks isn’t so valuable at that moment.
.260 v .220 is 4 more hits per 100 abs. If that guy hitting .260 isn’t also drawing walks &/or hitting for solid pop then what good is that? Empty mid level BA isn’t much either. Not talking about a .300 hitter here
Too bad they won’t deal with each other; cause IKF would be a great fit in Boston and there are several pieces on that team the Yankees could afford to take a look at.
Mondesi already basically fills the role IKF would have with Boston., and at a fraction of the price.
“Mondesi already basically fills the role IKF would have with Boston”
Mondesi doesn’t do much but get paid to be hurt.
I’m not writing Mondesí off; but I’m not sure how comfortable I am “penciling him in” as the everyday SS pre Story return. Also, who’s playing second? I know Kike and Ref can play there but are you penciling them in there as well? Probably not. Those guys are good outfielders as well and will absolutely play out there as well.
As well as well as well
Yu Chang basically fills the role IKF would have in Boston and he makes even less than Mondesi
IKF for David Peralta. Not sure how much Peralta is making this year, but make the money work and get it done.
Money is about even, but Peralta signed as a free agent this offseason so he can’t be traded without his consent until June 15.
Thanks for the info.
BTW Unrelated, and this is probably a known bug, but the poll link doesn’t show on Firefox.
don’t sleep on them trading gleyber before opening day
I don’t think the Yankees are ready to hand Volpe the second base job yet, for multiple reasons. Which means they need Gleyber right now,
they could also hand the job to DJLM 😉
I think that’s there first choice. A keystone combo of Peraza and Volpe for a decade is their dream scenario. Not sure what they could get for Torres. Any thoughts?
If Torres could switch to 3b…a trade for Ian Happ might make sense. Cubs need a third baseman, NYY needs a LF. Not sure how the $ matches up – Cubs might want a couple lower level prospects since they seem to be stockpiling youth
Let me say it for Yankees fans: maybe trade him and a couple of prospects for Reynolds. Not like the Pirates have enough middle infielders
Sorry. Couldn’t resist
The Pirates still have a major league team?
Yada, yada, yada…..
Maybe the Yankees would go for that if the Pirates include Andujar to increase the value of their offer for IKF.
As a Pirates fan, I have to maintain my sense of humor. I’m thinking 70-74 wins this year. Good times
Thanks for playing along
I don’t think IKF for Reynolds is an even trade but include Gleyber and I think it works for both teams.
Seeing as it seems any recent trade “buzz” around IKF is simply from fans who want him gone…no.
I think EVERY team would love to have an IKF on their bench. But if he’s a starter on your team; he’s either your 9 hole hitter, or your team is terrible. He’s settled into that kind of role. Great ball player, enjoy watching him play
Perhaps the government can assist with the pesky salary cap issues like it helped Silicon Bank. This is peanuts. Gotta help the little guy when risky financial speculation or too many contract gambles don’t go as hoped.
Will the NYY regret trading IKF by 6/1?
The Yankees will end up releasing him.
Why would they release him?
If JPs shoulder is worse than advertised I could see an ikf/Flexen swap
Trade IKF and Hicks to the Rockies for Randal Grichuk and Austin Gomber.
As much as I dislike Hicks, I’d rather have Hicks than Grichuk.
For the Rox to take on the rest of Hicks $30M on his contract they would want something more/in addition to IKF.
I have no problem with that. I just have a feeling Hicks would blossom again outside the NY pressure. It’s happened to a lot of other players in the past once they left the Yanks. That pressure is not for everyone.
Could see a few trade possibilities here:
– Obviously, the Dodgers and Rockies seem like fits given their injuries. The problem is that they don’t really have any prospects or pitchers to send back to entice the Yankees to part with a utility guy. I imagine the Yankees aren’t going to trade IKF just for salary relief.
– I could see the Giants make a run at him given Crawford’s injury. They have the pitching depth to subtract from (Maybe Junis for IKF and cash? Or Alex Wood with cash for IKF?). I really only see IKF getting trade interest if it’s a cash-neutral deal.
– I could maybe see the Mariners being interested if they feel their infield depth is shaky. Moore and La Stella have already been injured this spring, and La Stella doesn’t play SS and has performed well below-average the last two seasons. IKF could be a fit in that case. The Yankees would probably target Flexen, but, I don’t see the Mariners parting with Flexen for IKF, even if it was cash-neutral. Maybe if the Yanks attached a prospect if they’re that desperate for starting pitching.
La Stella injured? Shocking
The Dodgers have no prospects or pitching to entice the Yankees? The dodgers have 7 top 100 prospects and 3 of them are pitchers. I wouldn’t think the dodgers would part with any of them for IFK anyway but a middle tier guy like Grove could probably get it done.
Yeah, I think I worded it poorly. I was trying to say that the Dodgers and Rockies either don’t have or wouldn’t want to part with MLB-ready starting pitching for someone like IKF, and definitely not any top prospects,
Volpe and Cabrera look ready now. Cashman might have to take some chances on the kids like most mortal GMs…
Padres could use a short stop
BREAKING: Padres trade a can of corn for IKF; sign him to 10 year $460 million extension with player option for year 11, and full no trade clause
AAV is too high, 25/440 seems fair
Dodgers should be all in on him. Their depth at shortstop is very thin. Could use him for thirdbase as well
Motor City Beach Bum
They will ship a good prospect to the Tigers at the deadline for Baez after he has a bounce back year and then still miss the playoffs. Meanwhile Busch or whoever LA trades us will end up starting.
I think the Yankees are going to have to hold onto him at $6MM. I don’t think any other team would be interested in a scrub level utility infielder at that price since almost any team can call up a guy from AAA and get similar results for league minimums. The Yankees can hope Kiner-Falefa plays especially well into the season a bit and a team with a 60 day IL issue needs a placeholder. If the Yankees are willing to eat some salary, I could see them getting back a PTBNL.
A 3 WAR player is a scrub?
In 158 games he produced 1.7 fWAR in 2021. Last year, he produced 1.3 fWAR in 142 games. That’s a long, long ways from 3 WAR.
Baseball Reference’s WAR seems totally broken for high value defensive positions since it doesn’t account for shifting. Fangraphs was neutral on his defense and Statcast had Kiner-Falefa as a poor defender.
Since shifting no longer exists, I think being broken is also in the past. It is also more indicative of what a player could be in a non-shifting league.
There are many different defensive metrics available. Fans will often do what Martas does here. Dismiss ones they don’t like and promote ones they do. He’s on the record saying they will get nothing more than a PTBNL after they eat salary.
Shifting hasn’t been eliminated by a long shot. Not sure why people keep saying it doesn’t exist anymore. The unusual and extreme shifts where a SS would line up on the first base side has been eliminated for the infield, but most shifting will probably remain totally unchanged. i.e. a shortstop can still line up essentially on second base.
Aside from that, you’re missing the point. The point is Kiner-Falefa’s error rate is poor and he’s poor at charging the ball. Baseball Reference’s numbers gave him credit for outs he assisted in not because of range, reaction time or arm strength, but he got the assist because the ball was hit right to him when he was playing out of position. Most MLB shortstops are more sure handed and have better range than Kiner-Falefa so they’ll produce better defensive numbers if they were standing in the same place as Kiner-Falefa.
Kiner-Falefa’s error rate is poor. That’s awfully hard to overcome with range, but aside from that, Statcast shows Kiner-Falefa’s range when charging the ball was poor.
Baseball Reference’s defensive values for Kiner-Falefa are suspect because of that in my opinion. Lots of players have some differences in defensive values, but Kiner-Falefa’s are pretty extreme.
Just my two cents, but I agree with hiflew on his assessment here. IKF has been a model of consistency on offense (you know what you’re getting, in other words). But one aspect of his consistency is where he hits the baseball – he hits up the middle half the time and spreads out the other half.
Now, it’s been noted several times this spring already that hits up the middle are getting through, when in past years past they would be sure outs.
So, given he hits up the middle 50% of the time and the shift has been limited to the point it has a notable impact on grounders up the middle, I submit that IKF will improve offensively. To what degree it will help is another discussion. Nonetheless, he should improve his wOBA, OBP (obviously), his average, and his overall value (assuming he is in the lineup as a contact/OBP hitter). He obviously won’t ever be a slug guy though.
Kiner-Falefa doesn’t profile as somebody who has been hurt by the shift at all. Not only does Kiner-Falefa not typically see shifts against him, his results are arguably better against the shift than when he’s not shifted against. It makes sense as Kiner-Falefa uses the whole field. I’ve seen changes to the shift used way too frequently as an excuse as to why a player will suddenly transform into a different hitter. It’s just wishful thinking masked as thoughtful theory.
AVG vs xBA
2022 = .261 vs. .262
2021 = .271 vs. .267
BABIP vs. Median Qualified BABIP
2022 = .296 vs. .295
2021 = .304 vs. .305
Kiner-Falefa’s wRC+ 2022
wRC+ 72 No Shift (302 AB)
wRC+ 108 vs. Shift (105 AB)
and in 2021
wRC+ 82 No Shift (485 AB)
wRC+ 73 vs. Shift (52 AB)
I do agree that Kiner-Falefa is a very known quantity at this point. He’s a part time caliber utility infielder and emergency spot starter who can be replaced by a lower level journeyman AAA player making league minimum.
Where are you getting that info? There still may be no shift but that doesn’t mean the players didn’t position to play him up the middle where he hit 56% of baseballs. His xWOBA is expected to increase by nearly .15 points so it has to come from somewhere.
Again, it’s not wishful thinking, it’s watching baseball games (every one), seeing where teams position their fielders against him, where he grounds out, and where the players are now limited to play. Based on real input (not just a computer page reference) I believe he will increase his total hits.
Unless you’ve defined no shift as the 2B & SS playing out of the middle of the IF then I submit you are incorrect in your assessment.
Fangraphs -> Splits
Also, if you look at the spray charts from Baseballsavant.com, you’ll see where Kiner-Falefa’s hits come from. You can say he uses the “middle” of the field, but his hits are all over the place.
Not sure where you’re getting you xWOBA data from, but looking at Baseball Savant again,
WOBA vs. xWOBA
2021 = .293 vs. .292
2022 = .285 vs. .290
I’m not sure if this is the Isiah Kiner-Falefa friends and family club in here commenting or what, but you keep saying stuff which just isn’t backed up by data from enormous sample sizes.
Also, just as a side note, you do not seem to know what you think you do about the concept of the shift..
There has been NO change to typical shifts. Literally, you can have all of your fielder (except the pitcher) standing in an area the size of a large recliner on the baseball field and still be compliant with the new rules.
2 players on the left side of 2nd base.
2 players on the right side of 2nd base.
All infielders in the infield dirt or closer.
That’s it. Those are the new rules. So you can have your 3B standing directly behind your SS, who is standing 1 inch to the left of second base and your 2B standing directly behind your 1B, who is standing 1″ to the right of second base. All your outfielders can stand in the area behind the infielders. That configuration is not banned. That is still okay.
Also, player moving a few feet to the right or left of the exact center of the spot normally associated with a position is not considered shifting and never has been considered shifting. Shifting is when a fielder plays out of the normal range for the position which can span 15 or 20 feet to the right or left or so.
In any case, for a batter who you’re arguing hits everything up the middle, again, the entire infield can stand within 4 feet of either side of second base. a pure up the middle batter, if they actually were shifted against (which would rarely happen) would not benefit from rules changes in regard to the shift.
The problem for the Yankees is that they always have an over abundance of options for the positions and then injuries occur. So then, guys who looked like spare parts that needed to be squeezed into the line up just to get some playing time, become the starting position player regardless of the original plan for that season… IKF may be that guy this year- odd man out for the moment, but ultimately a starting SS or 2B or whatever because other players are injured.
I still think he gets traded in a salary dump swap.
I also hope the Yankees accept reality and call up Volpe officially and just get on with the inevitable future of Volpe as the Yankees’ starting short stop- of the future, but also of this moment.
He’ll be traded, but they’ll probably hold him until they’re fully ready to call up Volpe. Maybe the May time frame by which time will have assessed Peraza and Donaldson. They’ll hold him simply for depth for now. It’s a long season.
If the Yankees eat part of his salary in a trade, does that part count against their luxury tax bill?
all in the suit that you wear
Wilmer the Thrillmer
The Giants have a need for a plus defense back-up middle infielder. Their back-up options at this point are unproven at best. The fact that IKF can play anywhere is a bonus.
His worst trait offensively is his low OBP, however he steals bases and doesn’t strike out much.
I’m not sure Cashman and Farhan have the best relationship after last years Carlos Rodon trade deadline fiasco, but at least Cashman knows Farhan isn’t a pushover.
IKF is not the only option for the Giants but I think he’s a pretty decent one.
The “Yankees” aren’t built to win a championship as usual (13 seasons and counting since the last “Yankees” championship). Simple as that and Cashman should have been fired 3 years ago at the latest. Another albatross acquisition with the Aaron Judge contract. He will average less than 3 WAR over the next 9 seasons.
IFK, Donaldson, Hicks, Florial. Send them very far
Where is the I don’t care option on the poll?
You guys missed the “no cash will ask for the moon then deal him for a PTBNL and a bag of balls in July”
IKF, FLORIAL WITH TREY SWEENEY & luis Serna trade to Milwaukee for Adrian houser and Blake parker
salaries I believe are similar yankees give
2 prospects and gain a starter to help eat innings and gain a depth OF piece for injury protection
If he can play a decent CF no, if he can play a decent corner OF maybe, if he plays a crappy OF yes
He has minimal trade value, considering the $6 million and his *very* limited impact with the bat. Of course, Yankees fans are going to think the very opposite. #eyeroll
Teams don’t really trade for a No. 9 hitter with a $6 million contract. They promote from within for that role and fill it with a league minimum salary.
Plus, his defense is overrated. He has that weird, extra-hop thing when he has to make a hard throw to first.
Texas knew his limitations. It’s why they dumped him, even though they had a huge hole at third base in 2022.
Notice how the Yankee fans above (eye roll) actually used facts to back up their opinions.
That holds more weight than your bias , uneducated evaluations and made-up motives.
Having watched Volpe live a few times this spring, give him a full time job. Kid is ready