Over the course of mere minutes, Twins’ fans emotions went from excited at receiving their new shortstop to devastated at whom the team gave up.
The details came out piece by piece, but eventually, the full trade was known:
Mitch Garver has been traded to the Rangers for shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pitcher Ronny Henriquez, a source confirms.— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) March 12, 2022
The popular Garver had been the Twins’ starting catcher since 2018 and had his breakout year in 2019, clocking 31 homers and being awarded the American League Silver Slugger at catcher. Unfortunately, injuries limited Garver to 91 games across the next two seasons’ 222 contests, and despite the continued power Garver struck out in 29.2 percent of his plate appearances in 2021.
Kiner-Falefa began his Rangers career as a catcher and utility man; over the past two seasons, he shifted almost exclusively to the left side of the infield. Kiner-Falefa should slot in as the Twins’ starting shortstop for the coming season; like Andrelton Simmons last year, Kiner-Falefa is a light hitter (.670 OPS in 2021) with a good glove (2020 Gold Glove at third base). He should take over not only Simmons’ position but his jersey number, as Kiner-Falefa wore No. 9 in Texas.
In addition, the Twins received Ronny Henriquez, Texas’ 15th-ranked prospect. Henriquez is a 5’10” strikeout pitcher, by all accounts a prospect acquired for his tools.
Ronny Henriquez was the Rangers' No. 15 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. He made his way up to Double-A in their system.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) March 12, 2022
Here's the Pipeline scouting report on the 21-year-old: pic.twitter.com/3L6jXzFIlv
Whether this trade pans out for Minnesota is yet to be determined. Garver’s absence is a significant one for Ryan Jeffers and Ben Rortvedt to fill, but the organization must show incredible trust in their development for the team to move on from Garver.
The first offseason move has come to pass. We will soon see what more there are to come.