After becoming a pariah after being labeled a starting shortstop in 2022, the worst casting decision since Hayden Christensen played Anakin, Isiah Kiner-Falefa did anything asked of him and more in 2023.
He played short only once (he went 2-for-5) after every doomer Yankee fan sobbed all offseason about how the Volpe thing was a charade and it was just going to be IKF in "run it back" mode every day forever. He played third, his Gold Glove position, in 29 games. He spent 34 games in center field (???) and 32 in left (he hit .279 with an .832 OPS there), and comported himself well enough. Still, it never should've happened, and trying their underqualified utility man in the outfield for 60+ games might go down as the 2023 Yankees' kookiest failure.
IKF earned the approval of the fan base back and then some this year after becoming a victim of the Yankees' insanity, and delivered more often than expected. Still ... 0.2 bWAR and a 78 OPS+ for $6 million isn't going to cut it moving forward.
Kiner-Falefa loved being a Yankee, and celebrated when he wasn't dealt at the trade deadline. Ultimately, we loved having him. But this is the end of a road we're glad has been repaved with gold rather than additional potholes.