As the MLB lockout continues, rumors are beginning to swirl. Perhaps it’s driven by cabin-fever-esque emotions or maybe they’re authentic moves based on anticipation. Either way a particular move by the New York Yankees could have a major impact on the Texas Rangers. The latest news coming out of New York is their expected focus on signing a first baseman.

With arguably the best first baseman in the game available in Freddie Freeman, the Yankees could money whip him into wearing pinstripes.

If you can dream it

The once unthinkable is now possible. With Atlanta having shown an unwillingness to sign Freeman to a deal that he deems proper, the Yankees could jump in and swipe him away. At a reported 6 years/$180 million though, he wouldn’t come cheap. Even if they don’t sign Freeman they could still look at their mid-season acquisition in Anthony Rizzo. The former Cub quickly became a fan favorite in the Big Apple and could see his way there on a cheaper deal than Freemans. If either is truly in the Yankees’ plans, they’ll land them.

So How does this affect the Texas Rangers and Isiah Kiner-Falefa? Well, the Yankees payroll is already the 3rd highest in the league at $211 million. Now, who knows what the Luxury tax will be post-lockout but it probably won’t start significantly higher than the projected $210 million. That gives the Yankees a precariously close limit already. Also, keep in mind, this isn’t the old George Steinbrenner Yankees, it’s the new budget-conscious Hal Steinbrenner teams. So If they were to sign a pricey first baseman this would put them out of the running for a star shortstop.

Not exactly fiction

As once reported, the Yankees already have interest in IKF having reached out prior to the lockout. The Ranger Report has also already touched on too, it is very reasonable to expect him to land there. He could fit their need as an improved option at SS and could even step in as a Gold Glove-caliber 3rd baseman. Offensively he could be exactly what they need as well. Yankees fans have long complained about the make-up of the team being too home run/Strikeout prone. IKF is neither of those things. He makes frequent contact and get’s on base at a solid rate. He wouldn’t exactly fill in at the top of their lineup but could nicely fit in as a 5-6 hitter.

No Need

The Texas Rangers have no obligation to move him though. Even with the addition of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, IKF could be a useful contributor. As I mentioned before, could hold down 3rd base until Josh Jung is deemed ready. He also could slide back into SS of 2B if there is an injury or day off for one of the high-priced signings. Not to mention IKF is a team leader by example, versatile and dependable. He is a valuable piece to any team.

With a multitude of rapid moves to be made once the lockout is lifted, a dynamic approach to Kiner-Falefa could be what’s best.

He is the most valuable major league trade piece that can be made readily available on the roster. As a multiposition player, IKF will be in high demand by teams who don’t want to spend at either shortstop OR 3rd base. He is also a clubhouse favorite who could help lead by example to the younger prospects coming up. Any which way the Texas rangers choice to play it, The New York Yankees moves could have a major effect on the team.

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