The New York Yankees are trying to extract any remaining value from Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who seems to be on his way out via trade over the next week.
The veteran infielder is desperately trying to test his qualities at different positions at the Yankees have given him the green light to do so. He’s already experienced reps in center field, left field, and now he’s preparing for his fourth position change, getting involved in catcher drills.
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If the Yankees are genuinely going to roll with IKF as a utility piece, he’s prepared to make the very most of it.
“Whatever happens, happens,’’ Kiner-Falefa said Wednesday. “I just want to win. That’s all I’m worried about right now. I am ready for whatever I need to do.”
The Yankees testing Isiah Kiner-Falefa is very odd:
Kiner-Falefa has never played catcher at the professional level, so seamlessly transitioning over is unlikely. It takes years of experience to understand the ins and outs of the catcher position, so it seems like the Yankees are trying to boost his stock in front of other clubs, showing what he can do as a utility piece.
Interestingly, IKF was the one who brought up the concept of participating in catcher drills, and since the Yankees have a few injuries at the position, they have extra reps to hand out.
“I think they expected me to bring it up when I did,’’ Kiner-Falefa said. “If I’m gonna do this, I want to be the best utility player I can be. I don’t want to do it halfway.”
Ultimately, given the log jam in the infield, composed of Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, and Gleyber Torres, there isn’t a spot for the 27-year-old who was acquired last year in the blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Twins.
At this point in time, recouping the $6 million owed to him for the 2023 season seems like the most efficient move. Still, general manager Brian Cashman is remaining patient, waiting for teams to call with desperate measures. Ultimately, injuries are prevalent in the sport, and there will be a club that could use a top-gap solution like Isiah Kiner-Falefa, whether it be sooner or later.