Blue Jays sign Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (YES Network/YouTube, Wikimedia Commons)

According to Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed Isiah Kiner-Falefa of Honolulu, Hawaii to a two-year deal worth $15 million. The Blue Jays are the third Major League Baseball team he has played for following four seasons with the Texas Rangers from 2018 to 2021, and two seasons with the New York Yankees in 2022 and 2023.

This past season with the Yankees, Kiner-Falefa batted .242 with six home runs and 37 runs batted in. During 113 games, 326 at bats, and 361 plate appearances, he scored 39 runs and 79 hits, and had 12 doubles, one triple, 14 stolen bases, 28 walks, 111 total bases, one sacrifice bunt, and three sacrifice flies. The sacrifice bunt came in a 4-3 Yankees win over the Cleveland Guardians on May 3.

Kiner-Falefa’s finest season came in 2020 with the Rangers. That season he had a career-high .280 batting average and won a gold glove award at third base in the American League.

At first glance, Kiner-Falefa follows the Blue Jays’s trend of defense first acquisitions. Could we see Kiner-Falefa be the Blue Jays’s everyday third baseman in 2023? Right now that is a possibility. It should be known that Kiner-Falefa had a batting average two points higher that Matt Chapman in 2023, who batted only .240 last season in Toronto.

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