NEW YORK — The Yankees agreed to terms on one-year contracts with shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and right-hander Lou Trivino on Friday, avoiding arbitration with both players.
Kiner-Falefa will make $6 million next season, while Trivino signed a $4.1 million contract. The Yankees tendered contracts to all of their eligible players before Friday’s 8:00 PM ET deadline.
The 27-year-old Kiner-Falefa had been announced as a non-tender after making $4.7 million last season, when he served as the Yankees’ regular shortstop before being benched in the playoffs.
Kiner-Falefa was acquired from the Twins along with third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Ben Rotvedt in a March trade that sent catcher Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota. RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 142 career games.
Although the Yankees repeatedly defended Kiner-Falefa’s defense, citing internal metrics that paint him among the top three to five shortstops in the league, Kiner-Falefa was charged with 15 errors during the regular season.
A 2020 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner with Texas, where he played third base, Kiner-Falefa lost playing time after a miscue early in the American League Division Series against the Guardians.
“On the balance of the season, [Kiner-Falefa] was really good,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I know there were some frustrations with the errors he would have at times and where I felt I needed to do something with the line-up because I felt it was something that came into play in one of the series. But overall, I feel like he’s been great defensively and tops in the league among shortstops.”
Re-signing Kiner-Falefa doesn’t necessarily preclude the Yankees from pursuing a trade involving him. Yankees manager Hal Steinbrenner said this week that it was his “intention” to give top prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe a chance to earn starting center field jobs; General manager Brian Cashman said it could be fixed in the spring.
“Kiner-Falefa gave us an opportunity to bridge the gap while the children continue to develop,” Cashman said. “Everyone in the industry, teams and fans alike, recognizes that we have some pretty impressive prospects that are developing and need more time.”
Trivino, 31, was 1-2 with a 1.66 ERA in 25 games after being acquired from the Athletics in an Aug. 1 deal that also sent right-hander Frankie Montas to New York, along with infielder Cooper Bowman, right-hander Luis Medina, left-hander shorthander JP Sears and lefty Ken Waldichuk go to Oakland.
Overall, Trivino was 2-8 with a 4.53 ERA in 64 appearances in 2022. The five-year veteran is 21-25 with a 3.86 ERA in 285 career appearances (one start), after spending the previous 4 1/2 campaigns his with Athletics.