Kiner-Falefa, who was eligible for salary arbitration, was a candidate to be non-tendered by New York ahead of Friday's 8 p.m. ET deadline.
Kiner-Falefa was often a liability on defense in 2022, ending up on the bench in the postseason. The 27-year-old, acquired from the Twins this past spring in the Josh Donaldson and Gary Sánchez trade, hit .261/.314/.327 during his first season in pinstripes.
With top prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza ready to take over at the position, New York could part ways with the shortstop this winter. They could also keep him on this new contract, using him as a versatile backup on the infield. Kiner-Falefa won a Gold Glove at third base with the Rangers during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020.
Both Yankees manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman used the word "competition" when answering questions about the shortstop position during their end-of-season pressers earlier this month. That could involve Kiner-Falefa—Boone previously said he "can be" the starting shortstop in pinstripes next season. The Yankees can also try to flip "IKF" into an arm for their pitching staff, trading the contact hitter to a club desperate for a shortstop.
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