Rangers trade Isiah Kiner-Falefa to Twins for Mitch Garver

The first trade of the post-lockout baseball season had special interest to the Yankees.

The Rangers sent infielder 26-year-old Isiah Kiner-Falefa — who had been a potential Yankees stopgap shortstop — and right-handed pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez to the Twins for catcher Mitch Garver on Saturday.

MLB
The Texas Rangers traded Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the Twins on Saturday.
AP

According to The Post’s Joel Sherman, Kiner-Falefa was a player of interest to the Yankees. The four-year pro is well-regarded defensively but light-hitting — he posted a .670 OPS last season with eight home runs in 677 plate appearances — and might have been an option at shortstop until one of the Yankees’ top prospects at the position would be deemed ready.

Kiner-Falefa was available because the Rangers brought in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to be their double-play combination.

The 31-year-old Garver, who has been Minnesota’s primary catcher for the past four seasons, brings experience and a big bat to the Rangers. He has fought injury, but the righty smacked 13 home runs in just 243 plate appearances last season. The Rangers also have switch-hitting catching prospect Jonah Heim, who either is expendable or will share time at the position.

As for the Yankees, who moved Gleyber Torres off shortstop to second base last season, Carlos Correa is the top free-agent option but also the most expensive. They could pivot to Trevor Story if the former Rockies star does not land a long-term deal elsewhere. Andrelton Simmons might have been an option, but the defensive whiz signed with the Cubs on Friday.

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