If it was up to New York Yankees fans, Isiah Kiner-Falefa would have been off the roster sometime in June.
The typically sure handed infielder and former Gold Glove winner had been brought in as a placeholder for the Yankees’ top shortstop prospects during the offseason. It did not take long for him to catch the ire of the fanbase, as he always seemed to come up short or make an error in a critical moment. That came to a head in Game Four of the ALCS as his poor path to second base turned what could have been a double play into an inning extending error and ultimately led to the winning run crossing the plate.
New York Yankees could move on from Isiah Kiner-Falefa
This is something that Kiner-Falefa is aware of as well. While he is under team control through next year, he also knows that his time on the Yankees could be coming, telling Laura Albanese of Newsday that he does not know what his future holds.
Kiner-Falefa had what was a typical season by his standards. He posted a respectable .261/.314/.327 batting line in his 531 plate appearances, hitting four homers and 20 doubles while stealing 22 bases. His play at short was typically excellent as he saved ten runs on the season. That performance was worth 2.9 bWAR, the fifth best mark on the Yankees this season.
But it is a matter of what Kiner-Falefa is not. His acquisition, along with Josh Donaldson, opened the door for the Twins to be able to sign Carlos Correa. As Correa had one of his typically excellent seasons during what may be his only season in Minnesota, and the Yankees failed to hit in the playoffs, that decision could have been the difference in their postseason fortunes.
He will land somewhere. Kiner-Falefa is still a valuable player, a respectable enough bat with plenty of speed and an excellent glove. He may be best suited as a utility player on a contending ballclub, but he is the type of player that can help. It just never quite worked out in New York.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa knows that his time with the New York Yankees could be ending soon. The two sides just were not a good fit from the start.