In a Zoom call with the media, newly acquired utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa recently spoke on what drew him to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.
"I wasn't really expecting as many teams to call. I was kind of overwhelmed – it made me feel really good. ... Looking at all of it, the city comes into play, the playing time comes into play, obviously the finances come into play, the years, but at the end of the day, it's all about winning for me."- Isiah Kiner-Falefa
After the Blue Jays unsuccessful attempt to bring Ohtani north of the border, they've been pretty quiet in the free-agent market and completely silent in the trade market. Kiner-Falefa's two-year, $15M deal is one of only two signings the club has made this winter. The other being the re-signing of center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on a one-year deal worth $10.5M.
Kiner-Falefa, 28, slashed .242/.306/.340 with 6 home runs and 37 runners batted in last year as a member of the New York Yankees. He is very much known for his flexibility around the diamond, which is evident by his games by position last year. IKF played one game at second base, one game at short stop, 31 games at third base, 7 games in right field, 41 games in center field, and 37 games in left field in 2023. Wherever John Schneider and Co. want to throw him on the field this season. he's likely comfortable there.
"I have the most fun when I'm winning. I feel like guys bond more. And I just wanted to be a part of something special. I feel like playing in Toronto is special because you get to play in front of a whole country. I always felt the power there."
Although Kiner-Falefa's exact role on this Blue Jays squad is currently unclear, IKF's flexibility around the diamond will certainly help him see more time on the field.