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Two Former Yankees Contributing for Their New Clubs

Two former New York Yankees players were brought onto their respective new clubs for a purpose, and so far they are fulfilling it. Former Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez and former Yankees infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa are contributing in key roles for the teams they represent. 

Isaiah Kiner-Falefa is a very recent familiarity in the Bronx, one whom Yankees fans were more than willing to part ways with. Kiner-Falefa, or “IKF” spent two seasons in New York and didn’t amount to much hype or contribution. 

Former Yankees Infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa Contributing to Blue Jays

In 2023, Kiner-Falefa defined the word “utility,” splitting time between seven defensive spots on the field, with the majority spent in the outfield. He was also tasked with some third base time. Defensively his output was not terrible, but his offense was disheartening. 

The former Yankees utilityman finished the 2023 season with a .242 batting average. Usually, batting average doesn’t say much about other qualities at the dish, but in this case, it speaks volumes. He struck out 70 times and walked 28 times. His stick was useless and technically was a back-filler by title. 

Fast-forward to 2024, Kiner-Falefa remained employed, but with another team in that division. The Toronto Blue Jays faced multiple hiccups in the offseason with regards to free agency, and practically failing to fix their main issue, offense.

IKF is Doing Exactly the Job the Blue Jays Hired Him For

The Blue Jays management’s approach was not just to wait for the big bats to heat up, but to add pieces who can collectively pull the offseason weight and flash the leather where needed. Kiner-Falefa signed with the Blue Jays and ultimately assumed the role of former Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman

As the season progresses, Kiner-Falefa is slashing a .277/.322/.375; a very predictable spot for him. Regardless of what the numbers say, IKF has been plugged into whichever role the Jays have demand for. He’s been effective with the lumber when comparing him to the sleep-show offense they’ve mostly employed in the batter’s box.

Kiner-Falefa has had quality at-bats where he’s slotted in, assisting in important game scenarios. His generic contact approach gets the job done in those spots, whereas the big boys seem to roll over or watch the big screen as they retrieve back to the dugout. 

He’s able to spark the ball off the bat, causing defensive plays and movement on the bases. 

IKF’s real offensive support will shine through when he’s on base and able to snag bases more often. Defensively he’s primarily split between second base and third base and is proving himself with the glove. 

Gary Sánchez Now a Crucial Piece Behind the Dish for the Brewers

Gary Sánchez is turning a really heartbreaking situation into an absolute Cinderella story with regards to his career. His final season with the Yankees was in 2021, when his career was in peril after putting up a .204 batting average and showing an inability to field his position. 

An offensive-minded yet sharp-catching prospect turned into a stock project and technically failed for both sides of the deal. Sánchez was done. In 2022, the Minnesota Twins took a chance by trading for Sánchez in a blockbuster deal. 

Former Yankees Catcher Improving to Keep Himself Relevant in The Show

Sánchez finished the 2022 season with a similar offense. However, he drove in more runs on more hits than the previous year. His power was still relevant, driving 16 bombs out of the yard. Most importantly, he finished the year on a good defensive note, with only four passed balls; the least amount of passed balls in his entire career. That was half of what he allowed the year before. 

Sanchez bounded around to the New York Mets and San Diego Padres before landing in Milwaukee with the 2024 Brewers. Already with five home runs and a .224 batting average, Sanchez serves as the second-string catcher in Milwaukee. He is seeing decent playing time behind William Contreras

The former Yankees backstop is a veteran in the game and is contributing valuable offense and defense now that he’s reinstated with corrections. His ability to still use his power at the plate is huge for the Brewers, and he has cleaned up his defense drastically. 


Photo Credit: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports


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