The New York Yankees are not planning on Isiah Kiner-Falefa being their starting shortstop in 2023. As of right now, Oswald Peraza seems to be the odds on favorite to land the job. I’d say that Anthony Volpe is even ahead of IKF on the depth chart in the minds of the Yankees.
IKF was acquired alongside Josh Donaldson last offseason and he was always looked at as a stop-gap solution at shortstop. He came with two years of control and New York tendered him a six million dollar contract earlier this offseason.
That said, there have been whispers since the beginning of the offseason that have hinted that IKF’s time in New York is done. Multiple outlets with ties to the Yankees have brought up IKF’s name in trade discussions. This is not a coincidence. New York has been actively seeing if any team would be interested in Kiner-Falefa’s services.
Another Yankees and Twins trade lining up?
A trade that seemingly makes perfect sense involves the team that sent IKF to the Yankees and that’s the Twins. Minnesota finds themselves with ample outfielders at the moment and they have been shopping Max Kepler. A name that has been brought up internally by the Yankees as a candidate for the vacancy in left field.
While Kepler’s numbers aren’t the sexiest, his lefty bat would bring additional balance to the lineup and he doesn’t strike out at a high rate. The thought is that Kepler would be an ideal bounce back candidate with the shift rules heading into next year.
The Twins were in on Carlos Correa and Danby Swanson but couldn’t land either. They are needing a shortstop and the Yankees have one they are familiar with. I still believe that New York’s top target for the outfield is Bryan Reynolds, but if that trade doesn’t materialize, don’t be shocked if Kepler finds his way to the Bronx and IKF finds his way out.