When Omar Infante was signed to a four year, $30.25 Million contract prior to the start of the 2014 season, it was expected that he would solidify second base for the Royals. Second base had been a black hole over the past few years, as the likes of Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella and Miguel Tejeda, among others, attempted to claim the position. Infante, almost by default, would have to be an upgrade.
While that would have appeared to be the case in theory, reality proved to be different. Bothered by injuries from the middle of Spring Training, Infante never really got on track, posting a .252/.295/.337 batting line with six home runs and 21 doubles. His OPS+ of 76 was one of the lowest marks of his career, and was positively Getzian. So much for that upgrade.
Now, with Christian Colon as a potentially viable option at second, and the Royals needing to clear a bit of payroll for their bullpen and holes in the rotation and in right, Ken Rosenthal has tweeted that Omar Infante is on the trade block. So much for stabilizing second base.
It makes sense that the Royals would make Infante available. The free agent class at second is weak, with old friend Emilio Bonifacio arguably the best available. With the market being that thin, it is reasonable that there may well be interest for a team to bring in Infante. Even coming off an injury plagued season, Infante certainly seems like the best option available.
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However, even with Omar Infante being better than the free agents available, he still had a rough season last year. At age 33 by the start of the 2015 season, and being owed another $23.25 Million over three years, not including a $10 Million option with a $2 Million buy out, Infante would still be a risk. If healthy, as he was in 2013, Infante could be a solid producer in the lineup. But can he stay healthy?
That is the determination any team willing to trade for Infante would need to determine. At this point, the Royals may well be happy just to get his contract off the books, allotting his salary to another position or two. However, there may not really be much of a market for Infante.
Omar Infante is on the trade block. But can the Royals really get anything for him?