Teams continue to sign free agents even after the end of the Winter Meeting, as free agent Omar Infante has agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the Kansas City Royals.
Infante, who will be 32 on December 26, ended 2013 with a .318 batting average, 10 home runs and 51 RBIs for the Detroit Tigers. He also held a .795 OPS.
The 12-year veteran will be a utility option for the Royals in the infield, having played 60 percent of his major league career at second base and a combined 23 percent at shortstop and third. He’s also spent some time in the outfield.
His above average OPS should provide a boost for Kansas City, whose middle infielders finished dead last with a .574 OPS in 2013.
Infante also received an offer from the New York Yankees earlier this week, which was rumored to be three-years and $24 million. Clearly, Infante chose the higher-paying option.
The Royals’ general manager, Dayton Moore, spoke throughout the offseason on the importance of upgrading at second base. Last season, Kansas City tried out a number of options at second, including Emilio Bonifacio, Jamey Carroll, Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella, Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada, but they combined to hit only four home runs and .243.
Now, Bonifacio will likely become a utility player for the Royals, as he was set to be the primary second baseman for the upcoming season. But with the better option of Omar Infante available, it would make sense that Bonifacio would receive less playing time.
[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]