By the time the lockout officially ends, the New York Yankees won’t have many options at shortstop to consider. Currently, the best options on the market remain Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Andrelton Simmons. All three present vastly different players, but overspending on Correa and Story may not be preferable for general manager Brian Cashman.
Correa is looking for a 10-year contract, and Story would have to be overpaid on a stopgap deal over two or three seasons max. In that case, Simmons may present the best alternative, but his lack of offensive production is a big turn-off for a Yankee team that heavily relies on home run hitters.
In recent months, one name that has bubbled to the surface is Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who currently features with the Texas Rangers at both third base and shortstop. Last season, he hit .271 with eight homers and 53 RBIs, recording a 13.3% strikeout rate. With 136 singles, 25 doubles, and three triples, Kiner-Falefa presents solid contact hitting, which is a desperate need for the Bombers.
However, there’s a good chance that he is completely off the board after Texas Rangers infielder Josh Jung suffered an injury weight lifting.
According to NBC Sports, Rangers’ third baseman Josh Jung suffered an injury weight lifting, which could force Isiah Kiner-Falefa into a more prominent role:
Jung suffered a left shoulder injury while lifting weights at the team’s spring training facility earlier this month. He was examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister last week and diagnosed with a labral strain.
With Jung out of commission for a while, Isiah Kiner-Falefa would appear to have a clear path to the Rangers’ third base job.
Kiner-Falefa would’ve presented a far less lucrative trade scenario compared to Matt Chapman. His solid production at the plate and great defense make him a perfect prospect for the Yankees in the short term, but now their options continue to dwindle, making the decision to pass on players before the lockout a bad one.
Even with Texas landing Corey Seager and Marcus Semian, they still have a big need at third base, and luckily they have the support to fill it without skipping a beat. Theoretically, the Yankees could part ways with Gio Urshela in a trade for Kiner-Falefa, but it is unlikely.