Every free agent signing has it’s positives and negatives. On the plus side, a hole in the lineup or in the pitching staff is filled instantly without having to worry about whether or not the prospect brought in to fill that spot will pan out. However, there is the drawback of the financial obligations to that player. Also, depending on how long the player is signed for, prospects may be blocked on their way to the major leagues. With the Royals signing of Omar Infante, the latter scenario appears to be the case for Christian Colon.
As recently as a week ago, Colon appeared as though he may get an opportunity to prove that he could be the Royals primary second baseman in 2014. Although not a top prospect, Colon had displayed a knack for putting the bat on the ball and an ability to draw walks. Last season, he added a bit of power to his game, hitting twelve home runs for Omaha. Although the Pacific Coast League does inflate offensive totals, the power surge was certainly an added bonus for the type of player that Colon has been.
Despite seemingly being on an accelerated path through the minors, Christian Colon now appears to be blocked at second base. Yet, that does not necessarily mean that he cannot be a factor for the Royals in the future. Colon had been drafted as a shortstop, and could find a role with the Royals as a backup middle infielder, playing a couple of times a week to rest Infante and Alcides Escobar. He could also be a solid insurance policy if Escobar continues to disappoint offensively. While most of Escobar’s value is provided by his glove, the lack of production that he provided last season, where his .234/.259/.300 batting line was below the lofty offensive heights set by such hitters as Rafael Belliard, just was not acceptable. Colon would, almost by default, be a better offensive option.
Another possibility is that Colon could be included in a trade. With the Royals surplus of fourth outfield types and relievers, Colon could potentially be added as a chip to help bring over a piece that could help their chances of contending in 2014. While the Royals have their problems at second base seemingly solved with the addition of Infante and Emilio Bonifacio, there are still other teams that could use a player such as Colon.
In the end, Christian Colon could have an impact upon the Royals in 2014, but it may not be in the way he was expected to. In fact, Colon’s biggest impact on the Royals could be in who he brings back to the Royals.