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Kiner-Falefa to Jays on two year deal, per reports

Former Ranger Isiah Kiner-Falefa is reportedly headed to Toronto on a two year deal

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Isiah Kiner-Falefa and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a two year deal, per reports. The deal is reportedly for $15 million, with another $1 million in possible incentives.

IKF, of course, is a former Texas Ranger, a 4th round pick in 2013 who was a slick fielding infielder, got moved to catcher, wasn’t real good at it, then moved back to the infield. After winning a Gold Glove at third base in 2020, IKF took over for Elvis Andrus at shortstop in 2021, putting up a 3.6 bWAR season for a really bad Ranger team.

The signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien led to IKF being traded to the Minnesota Twins, along with Ronny Henriquez, in exchange for Mitch Garver, a trade that worked out pretty well for Texas. The Twins sent IKF and Josh Donaldson to the New York Yankees for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela a day later.

IKF put up a 3.0 bWAR season as the Yankees’ regular shortstop in 2022. He became a utility guy in 2023 due to the arrival of Anthony Volpe, and ended up playing more outfield than anything else. Neither his bat nor glove played great out there, as he put up a 0.0 bWAR in 361 plate appearances over 113 games.

I would assume that the Blue Jays’ plan is to have IKF play the infield again. Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield are both free agents, while Toronto just re-signed Kevin Kiermaier, so IKF would seem to slot into an infield spot — perhaps the Merrifield “second base plus some outfield time” role.