5 Yankees players who don't deserve to be on 2023 40-man roster

Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two
Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS (UTIL please)

Isiah Kiner-Falefa's $6 million salary seems absurdly easy to move, especially when compared to Donaldson and the Yankees' other big hurdle. He put up 3.0 WAR last season despite being painted a villain by Yankee fans. He might not be a starting-caliber shortstop, but he's shown significantly higher skill and comfort levels at third base, winning a Gold Glove there over Gio Urshela back in 2020.

Man, remember Gio Urshela? Miss that guy. Having that guy would've solved ... a lot of things.

Kiner-Falefa is what he is: a contact bat who'll hit for a high enough average and very little power, but can do the little things. He can cover multiple infield spots, and fans will appreciate the pesky bunts and poked singles a lot more if he isn't sold to them as a defensive sparkler at short, a position where his range was exposed repeatedly in 2022. His hands didn't help, either.

Back when the Yankees chose to tender him a contract for 2023, we assured through gritted teeth that the decision didn't necessarily mean he'd be around on Opening Day. As the season draws closer and the team has set up the bowling pins for Oswald Peraza to knock 'em down, it still seems like Kiner-Falefa has a chance to find a new home before April.

In the right situation, it's not difficult to imagine him producing enough to justify that modest price tag. In New York, where fans have already turned against him and DJ LeMahieu and Oswaldo Cabrera would be better options? Not so much.