He posted a video of himself shaving before reporting to the Yankees’ training camp (he is happy to respect the organization’s no facial hair policy) and he has been smiling non-stop ever since he heard the news.
Reading general manager Brian Cashman’s words, it’s evident that, at least at the moment, he consider Kiner-Falefa the starting shortstop.
“We feel by doing this trade we upgraded defensively and offensively at third and at shortstop and placed [Gleyber Torres] in a position that he’s best at: second base. So I think the infield side upgraded for the defense and on the catching side as well. So I think that the overall feel for us is that it’s settled a lot of interests on our end with one transaction, with one particular team.”
It’s clear the Yankees want him, and it’s clear that Kiner-Falefa has always considered Yankee Stadium his home.
He even posted a picture of himself in the stadium as a kid.
Og bleacher creature!!!! pic.twitter.com/yRotRlju1w
— Isiah Kiner-Falefa (@Isiahkf11) March 16, 2022
A Lifelong Dream
Not every player can say he defended the uniform they grew up rooting for, and Kiner-Falefa, barring a trade, will likely have bragging rights.
The Yankees still have time (and money) to bring in another shortstop.
In 2021, he slashed .271/.312/.357 with eight homers, 20 stolen bases, and a .670 OPS.
He has contact and wheels, but his offensive upside is very limited.
He makes for a perfect utilityman, though, with his ability to play good defense at third base, shortstop, and even catcher.
Fans will surely enjoy watching a player with so much desire to play for the Yankees, regardless of his role.NEXT: Luke Voit Is Just Trying To Stay Positive