Can you believe the Texas Rangers went from a scrum of young players and journeymen to Corey Seager and Marcus Semien anchoring their middle infield for years to come? Yeah, I still can’t really believe it either.
But it’s this team’s new and exciting reality heading into 2022 (barring… a season) and that leaves a potential odd man out of the infield mix: Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Kiner-Falefa, an elite defender with a solid (but unspectacular) bat, enters the conversation at third base for the Texas Rangers this season since shortstop and second base are obviously off the table. There’s a good chance he wins the third base job, which he’ll be competing with Josh Jung for. Jung could win it, though, with his upside and that puts Texas in a tough position with one of their stalwarts: keep Kiner-Falefa as a utility man or trade him while his value is pretty high?
Well, if the rumor mill is any indication, the answer to that question may be clear.
Texas Rangers have a potential hot commodity in Isiah Kiner-Falefa
According to MLB Trade Rumors, there are multiple teams that could be interested in trading for Kiner-Falefa given his good all-around set of tools and his versatility in the field. Among those interested include the Yankees, Astros, Twins, Angels, Phillies, White Sox and Blue Jays.
Hold the phone? You better. With that many potential suitors, a bidding war for Kiner-Falefa’s services could be imminent after the lockout. It’s easy to see why.
The good news for the Texas Rangers is that they don’t need to trade Kiner-Falefa. The team would likely be more than happy to have the “Hawaiian Hustle” as an super utility man who can play all over the diamond, hit a little and steal some bases.
In fact, Texas should only trade Kiner-Falefa if they receive an offer that blows them out of the water. Combined with his versatility are his years of team control and cheap arbitration salary, which should make his acquisition cost sky high.
You could be in a much worse position than the Rangers with IKF.