It’s official: the Yankees have acquired Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt from the Twins in exchange Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela. A stunner, to put it lightly. It’s a move that feels like it must precede a couple of other transactions that remain to be seen.
The deal crosses off one task from the offseason to do list: get a shortstop. No, it’s not the one any of us wanted in Carlos Correa or Trevor Story. Kiner-Falefa is the stopgap shortstop until one of Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe are ready.
Additionally, as odd of a fit as it seems, Donaldson does offer a boost to the offense, which the team certainly needed after last year. How he’ll get along with Gerrit Cole remains to be seen. There are concerns about Donaldson’s age (36) and health, too.
I’m sure many fans are rejoicing now that Sánchez is out of the picture, but the grass isn’t always greener. A tandem of Kyle Higashioka and Rortvedt is not good. This is where, perhaps, the Yankees have something else up their sleeves.
Even with shortstop addressed, this deal didn’t necessarily fix the infield logjam. Moving Urshela seemed like a possibility to push DJ LeMahieu to third and give Gleyber Torres the keystone, alas, that’s not actually the case. Now, the Yankees need to figure out how to settle the right side of the infield, with LeMahieu, Torres, and Luke Voit still around.
We’ll have more to come on this deal in the coming days.