The Texas Rangers pulled the trigger for the first post-lockout major trade. The Rangers and Minnesota Twins came to an agreement on a deal that will send catcher Mitch Garver to Texas and infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa to Minnesota. Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to tweet out the trade. Pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez will be a part of the deal.
And the trades begin!
The Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers are in agreement on a deal that will send shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the Twins, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2022
Texas Rangers Keep Making Moves
For the Rangers, their moves before and after the lockout have become headline-grabbing moves. It’s been a very busy offseason for the improving ball club. Texas threw big money at shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman, Marcus Semien. The addition of those All-Star infielders, along with the impending arrival of top prospect Josh Jung, led to immediate reports that Kiner-Falefa was the odd man out.
Minnesota Gains Strong Addition
Minnesota lost Andrelton Simmons to the Chicago Cubs via free agency. Now that they have Kiner-Falefa in the fold, it fills a void Simmons once had. Similar to Simmons, Kiner-Falefa is a defensive-first plater, but his offense has room for improvement. He hit .271/.312/.357 last year with a wRC+ of 95. Those numbers don’t stand out, but they are an upgrade over Simmons’s numbers. Although, Kiner-Falefa has never had a wRC+ higher than 95 and he’s still fairly young as he’ll be 27 before Opening Day. The Twins made a strong addition to their infield, but they had to send a valuable player like Garver the other way.
Garver had a breakout campaign in 2019, hitting .273/.365/.630 with a 155 wRC+. Despite dealing with injuries the last two seasons, his 2021 line was .256/.358/.517. Last season, the Rangers split the catching duties between Jose Trevino and Jonah Heim. With Garver as the new backstop, he’s more capable of producing at a much higher rate. Plus, he has another year of control remaining after this season.
With Kiner-Falefa on his way to Minnesota, Texas will need a third baseman whether it’s from free agency or through a trade. Plus, the Twins have a pitching prospect in Henriquez. Minnesota is in desperate need of pitching after trading José Berrios and losing Michael Pineda to free agency.