Did costly Rockies injury create Yankees' trade opportunity with Isiah Kiner-Falefa?
OK, maybe the Los Angeles Dodgers won't be a potential trade partner for New York Yankees utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but another NL West team might after another costly Spring Training injury.
On Thursday, the Colorado Rockies were hit with unfortunate news regarding one of their top young players. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers, who finally caught on 2021 and followed it up with a Gold Glove campaign in 2022, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a Cactus League game this week.
Typically, that's not the end of the world, but after undergoing further testing, Rodgers was found to have "more damage than expected" to his shoulder capsule. Nothings been determined yet, but surgery is definitely on the table, and if he has to go under the knife it could cost him all of 2023.
The Rockies aren't exactly flush with talent. In order to absorb a loss like this, they might have to rearrange their infield configuration to avoid giving everyday reps to Alan Trejo or Harold Castro. They have no other middle infield prospects in the pipeline nearing an MLB debut that could help, either.
For as disliked as IKF is in the Bronx (and that's only because the Yankees have decided to improperly utilitze him), he's a totally fine player for what he brings to the table. He can adequately play multiple positions on defense and hit for contact. The Rockies can use any and all help, even though this wouldn't be an upgrade.
Could the Rockies be Yankees' trade partner for Isiah Kiner-Falefa?
Earlier in the offseason, CBS Sports' Mike Axisa had Kiner-Falefa on his list of "10 players who could use a change of scenery" and here's what he wrote:
"Marlins, Twins, Rockies. For Kiner-Falefa, the best fit is a team in a low pressure environment that can put him at shortstop or third base full-time and just let him play. The Yankees put him in a tough spot this past season."- Mike Axisa of CBS Sports
Again, it doesn't matter what the Yankees get for IKF. Clearing up their infield picture for prospects Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe is of greater importance. And getting an extra $6 million off the books also helps for trade acquisitions later down the road.
In the end, the Rockies need bodies if they're not going to replace Rodgers with an All-Star-caliber option (and they're not exactly in a position to do that). IKF gives them the flexibility to move around some pieces without drastically affecting the larger picture for 2023.
And they won't have to use him in the outfield! So let's trade him before the Yankees even dare experiment with that possibility.