The Milwaukee Brewers were linked to free agent utility player Isiah Kiner Falefa during Winter Meetings. Ken Rosenthal was the MLB Insider who specifically linked the first time free agent to the Crew, but his name has been mentioned with several other teams as well.
Over the last six years the former 2020 gold glove award winner as a third baseman has spent time with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees. Outside of third base he has significant experience as a shortstop, second baseman, and as of late an outfielder in which he is capable of playing all three positions in the grass.
His versatility is one reason why he is an intriguing free agent option for several teams. In this article we will evaluate three pros and cons regarding his game.
Milwaukee Brewers: Three pros and cons regarding free agent target Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
- He is versatile defensively, but is best suited in the infield.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s defensive statistics indicate that he is best suited at third base or shortstop. The addition of top prospect Anthony Volpe ultimately blocked him from playing shortstop in 2023 with the Yankees, but in both 2022 and 2021 he posted a DRS of 10. As an outfielder his DRS was negative as a center fielder as well as left fielder.
Milwaukee, who tends to value versatility, is also in need of a third baseman. It’s possible that the Brewers target him with the intention of him playing the infield primarily but knowing that he is capable of moving around if needed. A season ago Brain Anderson was signed with the intent of playing right field, but he moved to third base after Luis Urias went down with a hamstring injury on opening day.
- He is a contact oriented hitter, but his career numbers suggest that he is below average.
At the plate Isiah Kiner-Falefa brings a contact oriented approach with the ability to hit for a good batting average. From 2020 to 2022 his strikeout rates by year was an astonishing low 14.0%, 13.3%, and 13.6% with batting averages of .280, .271, and .261. The downside is that he struggles to make hard contact, does not slug the ball well, and his career wRC+ of 81 indicates that he is below average hitter.
When considering him as a member of the Brewers offense it’s hard to imagine him moving the needle. Milwaukee is currently stacked with contact and speed based prospects and they are in desperate need of players who can slug the ball. Isiah Kiner-Falefa does not fit that bill.
- His contract estimations are not outrageous, but it may be too much for the Milwaukee Brewers.
As mentioned earlier this is Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s first go around in free agency. By the end of arbitration he earned $6.00 million during his final season. Spotrac currently has his estimated market value at $6.4 million.
Despite being a well regarded infielder who can also play the outfield, a contract over $6.0 million may be a bit to pricey for the Brewers to consider for a player who is established as a well below hitter. Additionally Ken Rosenthal indicated that he is seeking a multi year deal.
All of this points toward the Milwaukee Brewers steering clear of Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Odds are they can find better value elsewhere when factoring in all of the above mentioned pros and cons.
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