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Rangers add Mitch Garver in exchange for Isiah Kiner-Falefa before adjusted Spring Training starts

Photo: Aric Becker/IconSportswire

Rangers add Mitch Garver in exchange for Isiah Kiner-Falefa before adjusted Spring Training starts

Everyone expected a free agent frenzy along with fast-paced trades from Thursday night to Friday. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the side you’re on), it was a quiet ride to the weekend. Rangers signed the familiar pitcher Martín Pérez and DFW native Brandon Workman. Not eye-popping acquisitions, but two moves that are low risk. Saturday mid-morning, the chaos came about.

“It’s kind of a winter meetings type deal made in Spring Training,” Jon Daniels said Saturday. Daniels also said that the Rangers and Twins were in talks prior to the lockout, but didn’t want to rush into anything which would implement the timing of the trade Saturday morning.

Before the lockout, reports had teams interested in Rangers’ utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa. A cheaper option on the money side with a lot of versatility and a defensive workhouse. Once Josh Jung’s injury hit the club, the Rangers felt confident IKF could fill that void. Even Chris Young said on Friday that the ball was in Kiner-Falefa’s court regarding starting at third base. But, as we all know, plans change. Texas traded Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pitcher Ronny Henriquez to the Minnesota Twins Saturday for catcher Mitch Garver. Reflecting upon the trade right now, it’s curious with the depth the Rangers have at catcher the organization. However, to get to point “D,” you need to reach point “C.” The Rangers have three big catchers on their roster, Garver, Jose Trevino, and Jonah Heim. Add Sam Huff to the mix, and Texas is indeed brewing to add one of those guys to a potential trade piece to fill out their roster.

From the Minnesota Twins’ perspective, the move makes a lot of sense. The Twins need a shortstop, and with Andrelton Simmons going to the Cubs, Minnesota needed to fill a void at shortstop. There are options the team could do for the Rangers side in filling a current gap at third base. “We sit today we look at Andy Ibanez and Yonny Hernandez as top of the depth chart as we open camp here,” Daniels said. The Rangers could utilize Garver for a few games at first base and designated hitter too which may create some competition at first base. As for someone like Nathaniel Lowe, third base won’t happen. “It’s not in our plans at this point, [Lowe] did do it previously in Tampa. It’s more of an emergency situation,” Daniels told me. For the catching situation, it appears Mitch Garver is the main man with the offensive firepower he brings and the leadership he has behind the plate. “Mitch is a bit older and has a reputation of working well with pitchers,” Chris Young said Saturday. “I think the widsom and experience in that relationship is important for the development of our young staff.”

Isiah Kiner-Falefa made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Rangers. He won a gold glove at third base in 2020 and was on pace for a potential gold glove at short, along with a possible All-Star appearance in 2021. He’s a workhorse in every sense of the word, a leader that the Rangers will miss and that the Minnesota Twins will gain. Chris Woodward continuously raved about the professionalism Isiah brought to the ballpark every day, and Kiner-Falefa’s teammates attested each time I’d ask about Isiah. Rangers fans will miss the Hawaiian Grit IKF brought. It was a matter of wanting to grow as a shortstop and the Twins giving him an opportunity, and you can’t fault a guy for that.


Check out my Rangers 7 interview with Isiah Kiner-Falefa last season:

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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