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Blue Jays reportedly add former Yankees infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa on two-year contract

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Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
Well, we wanted transactions, so the Blue Jays went out and got Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
It was reported by KingSarcasm (@HavokAndrew on Twitter) that the Jays are in agreement with the super utility player for a two-year, $15 million deal. This was confirmed by FanSided’s Robert Murray, who also added that Kiner-Falefa has $1 million in incentives.
So yeah, there’s a lot to take away from this signing. Kiner-Falefa is not, and never has been good with the bat. For his career, the 28-year-old has a .261/.306/.340 slash line with 26 homers in 2415 plate appearances for a career 82 wRC+. Thankfully, he doesn’t strikeout a ton as he has a career 15.5 K%, but the lack of power is concerning.
Kiner-Falefa’s bread and butter is his defence. Last season with the New York Yankees, he played his first 566.1 professional innings in the outfield, and had -4 Defensive Runs Saved and -2 Outs Above Average. Not great, but he’s a natural infielder and has a career 25 DRS and -6 OAA in 2691 innings at shortstop. Moreover, he has 19 DRS and 22 OAA in 1207.1 innings at third base.
Will Kiner-Falefa be the Blue Jays everyday third baseman? Let’s hope not, as the bat doesn’t really play there as he’s never hit double digit homers in his career. Where his bat does play though, is if he’s used in a super utility role. Throughout his career, he’s played every position except for first base, and that includes catcher and pitcher (he pitched four innings with the Yankees last season).
This is a good signing, although the term and pay may be a little bit too high for my liking. However, the Blue Jays will still have to make a big acquisition at some point this season. They can’t go into 2024 with only Kevin Kiermaier and Kiner-Falefa as their acquisitions, as they are a significantly worse team for it.
I’d be expecting the Jays to trade one of their infielders, perhaps Cavan Biggio or Santiago Espinal, so that Kiner-Falefa can take over this role.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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