Winter Meeting Recap: Omar Infante Talks, Say No to Nelson Cruz

Aug 1, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz (17) takes a practice swing before his at bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a baseball game at the Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of the Winter Meetings has passed relatively quietly. There have been plenty of rumors of teams meeting with players and discussing trades, but nothing has happened as of this point. Here is a quick recap of the days rumors as they affect the Royals:

  • With the Royals still seeking a middle of the order bat, one of the names that has occasionally been brought up is Nelson Cruz. However, at this point, the Royals are not among the teams to speak with his representatives, with the Rangers, Orioles and Mariners in the mix. Considering that Cruz has one full season in his last five years and is coming off a 50 game suspension for PEDs, he may be one of the last players the Royals should be looking at.
  • However, there is news of a player that the Royals could be interested in. The Royals are thought to be one of the teams interested in Omar Infante, who is expected to sign soon. Infante provides a solid defensive option at second, while bringing to the Royals a player with an excellent ability to put the ball in play. He may not walk much, nor hit for much power, but Infante could be an upgrade at second. His presence would also allow the Royals to put Emilio Bonifacio back in the utility role that he has thrived in in the past.
  • Meanwhile, with the Royals seemingly in pursuit of an upgrade at second base, there are a couple of second basemen that have become available for trade. The New York Mets have made Daniel Murphy available, while their division rivals, the Atlanta Braves, have made Dan Uggla available. Uggla has been absolutely brutal in every way aside from hitting home runs over the past three years, but he has been able to draw a walk and hit for power. Murphy, meanwhile, has minimal power but can actually hit the ball. Let’s just avoid Uggla and keep Murphy as a secondary option.
  • One more player listed on the trade block that could be on the theoretical Royals radar is Mark Trumbo. Instead of fancy analysis, I will give you three words: No. Just, no. Ok, more than three words. Trumbo has a power bat, but he strikes out a lot and provides virtually nothing elsewhere. With better options at right, first and designated hitter, there would be no point in going after Trumbo. Just stay away Dayton!

There is the recap for the Royals Monday at the Winter Meetings. The Hot Stove may heat up a bit more over the next couple of days.

Topics: Kansas City Royals, Nelson Cruz, Omar Infante

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  • Luke Goosen

    Im glad im not the only one pleading to stay away from Trumbo….”Jacobs jr”

  • jimfetterolf

    Murphy looks interesting, could see him for the right price. We have a couple of extra relievers and a couple of extra outfielders, the two outfielders needing to be moved being out of options and becoming expendable with the trade for “Old-Lough” Aoki.

    • DISQUS

      jim I will be so excited to hear your words “I was wrong on aoki” sometime in mid june….you make it out as if aoki is 39…..he is 32 and lough is 28…..aoki is such a subtle upgrade for the royals I am so shocked your not all over this…..Dayton won this trade at this point. and it has made us better….on more than one level….you should have said “better than-lough”…..kcmowhoa….what would your want moore to do? there are worse things he could have done than over pay for a back end pitcher…much worse…yeah we could have had another year of bruce “freaking” chen, but at times he has been brutal in his career for the royals and times he has been very solid….I think vargas will be more solid than chen over the life of the contract……should moore have over payed for a second baseman the first few weeks of free agency?….other than cano there is not one that should have been signed until this week or next….there are not that many great second basemen anyway….patience which is not moore’s strong point in free agency is the right move…

      • jimfetterolf

        Aoki is 32 with one year of control.

        My judgement is that Dayton Moore lost it at this point. More informative is I wouldn’t have made the trade, I had Smith as the beginning #5 starter for ’14 and I liked the Lough/Maxwell platoon possibilities. Maybe Aoki hits .300 and his OBP doesn’t drop too much with the Royals and maybe he can expand his defensive game to fit the K and last year’s Frenchy-esque base stealing percentage was just an outlier.

        As for Vargas, a younger Chen with a little more consistency, prototypical #4 starter in a big park. Reasonable enough but hope he didn’t get a no-trade clause. I figure he and Guthrie are most likely trade candidates as the kids come up.

    • unclejesse40

      Jim, would you like the Aoki trade better if we had him longer? the only thing I don’t like about the trade is that we are only guaranteed one year of Aoki and we had 5 years of Smith. If we sign Aoki to a reasonable contract extension I will be ok with the trade.

      • jimfetterolf

        That would help, if he had like three or four years of control so that, if nothing else he would have trade value when Bonifacio or Hernandez is ready.

        My main problem with Aoki is that I don’t see him as that much of an upgrade over what we already have. We lose Will Smith and probably Dyson and Lough in exchange for a year of getting an extra three walks per hundred PAs with a downgrade in Def and Bsr.

  • KCMOWHOA

    So in other words, we have few if any options. Again, Moore waited too long to pick up that coveted power bat and we’re left with scraps. Honestly, none of these guys are worth pursuing to me. Going after Uggla is a death sentence. Looks like Moore will stand pat as most assume he usually will. Crazy to believe that his big off season moves were over paying for a back of the rotation starter and trading for a 30+ rightfielder that the average fan has never heard of. Well here’s to another season of almost.

    • Luke Goosen

      Fangraphs projects that no name right fielder at same war as another unknown, Carlos Beltran

    • Eric Akers

      I am used to hearing how Moore didn’t wait long enough such as when he signed Guthrie last year. If you are referring to Beltran with the power bat, it sounds like Beltran was the one taking his time and trying to get the bidding going. Waiting until after Cano signed was the right move for him. The Royals apparently offered more to him than the Yankees after taxes, but the Astros did the same thing back when Beltran was a free agent for the first time when he signed with the Mets.

      One name that wasn’t mentioned is Corey Hart, but he isn’t a good fit either.

      • KCMOWHOA

        Hart just signed with the Mariners, but he’s hurt all the time anyway. I don’t know if Beltran was the answer. He may not have been, but we still haven’t added the bat that we’ve lacked.

  • jimfetterolf

    Okay, been thinking a bit more, as no opinions are final until the last drop of information has been squeezed out, so my current opinion, based on splits, is sign Omar Infante.

    He can hit RHP, both career and last year. Bonifacio stinks against righties, Mark Ellis isn’t good against them, so overpay for Infante to get him, but make sure there is no “no trade” clause. Per mlbtr Infante is asking $8m per on a long term deal. 4/32, 5/40, 4/36 and trade him after a couple of years, don’t know. He’s played the Royals enough that we might be attractive to him. Much better deal than signing Beltran or trading good prospects.

    • Eric Akers

      Omar looks a lot like Howie Kendrick to me. Hopefully we don’t have to go 4 years on him though.

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