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Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Yankees agree to $6 million, 1-year deal Pirates send SS Newman to Reds for reliever Moreta

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NEW YORK – Infielder Isaiah Keener-Phalefa and the New York Yankees on Friday agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal that avoids salary arbitrage.

Keener-Falefa received a $1.3 million raise in a deal that was reached as the evening deadline approached for teams to offer 2023 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man roster.

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New York also pressed right-hander Junior Fernandez out of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Keener-Falefa was acquired by the Yankees after the lockout and hit .261 with four homers and 22 stolen bases. He finished sixth among major league shortstops with 10 runs saved on defense but made 15 errors.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone left Keener-Falef on the bench in Game 4 of the Division Series against Cleveland. Keener-Falefa made a mistake in the first game and looked insecure in regular games.

“I feel that in some of the major stressful situations during the season, he did a great job,” Boon said. “Therefore, he always answered the call very well after a mistake. This time around, I feel like it’s snowballed a bit on this series, so it sort of goes into that.”

In Game 4 of the AL Championship Series against Houston, rookie Jeremy Peña hit what was supposed to be a double. Gleyber Torres in the seventh. But his throw to second base missed Keener Falef, setting up Houston’s two-run pitch that saw the Astros win four games.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Tuesday that Anthony Wolpe and Oswald Peraza during spring training, there will be an opportunity to earn extra money in the field.

Keener-Falefah will be entitled to free agency after the World Series.

He spent his first four major league seasons in Texas before being traded to Minnesota on March 12 with right-hander Ronny Henriquez for catcher. Mitch Garverand the next day gave the Yankees with a third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Ben Rortvedt Yankees for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela.

The 25-year-old Fernandez had a 2.41 ERA in 15 games for St. Louis and Pittsburgh, batting 14 and passing 12 in 18 2/3 innings while hitting eight—three of them homers. He was 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA in 41 games in Triple-A Memphis and Indianapolis. Fernandez is 1-1 with a 5.16 ERA in 50 assist games in four seasons with the Cardinals (2019-22) and the Pirates.

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Infielder Kevin Newman to Cincinnati in exchange for relief pitcher Dauri Moreta.

The deal came late Friday night, just after the Pirates offered Newman, their longest-serving player, a contract for the 2023 season.

Newman, 29, hit .274 with two home runs and 24 RBIs in 78 games for Pittsburgh in 2022. Newman became expendable after the advent of the shortstop. Oneil Cruzwho replaced Newman as a starter last season.

Newman, selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2015 draft, has a .260 career hitter.

Moreta, 26, went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 35 games for Cincinnati last season. The right-hander from the Dominican Republic had 39 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings of the job.


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