Free Agent: Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Prediction: Yankees, Two Years/$16 Million (And Why Not?!)
Momentum is brewing for the New York Yankees to re-sign Isiah Kiner-Falefa to shore up their utility spot for the next few seasons, and you know what?! We couldn't be happier.
After a turbulent season where Kiner-Falefa was miscast as a starting shortstop and struggled to find grace, he's been far more valuable as a super utility option (though he, uh, shouldn't play nearly as much outfield in the future). Last season, when he was tougher to love? 85 OPS+. Season before that? 85 OPS+. 2020? 93. 2023, so far? 93. IKF is nothing if not consistent, which is easier to appreciate when he's flitting around the diamond than when he's clogging up the shortstop spot.
He was unfairly treated as a stand-in for Corey Seager and Carlos Correa. Now? He's Luis Sojo, and he's nailing it. Much better.
The Yankees were willing to commit $6 million to IKF in 2023 before he'd shown much promise. Why wouldn't they be willing to commit $8 million to him next season now that he's proven to be a nice piece of glue to a downtrodden roster?
He shouted, "Thank God I'm a Yankee!" after the deadline passed without him being shipped out this summer. Who else on the current roster would even consider saying that?! He fits like a glove in his current role and he wants to stay. It would be nice to see something cost-effective work out to maintain a sliver of continuity on a roster that needs a pretty big overhaul.