Could the Kansas City Royals find a way to move on from Omar Infante?
To say that Omar Infante has been a disappointment during his tenure with the Kansas City Royals would be an understatement. Brought in to be the answer at second base, Infante has struggled through injuries and poor performance during his two seasons in Kansas City, posting a combined .238/.268/.329 batting line with eight home runs in 1030 plate appearances. He just has not been the player that the Royals had hoped for.
Unfortunately for the Royals, as Infante has two more years at $17.75 Million left on his contract, it seems unlikely that he would be going anywhere. The Royals second baseman, if healthy, will likely be in the lineup come Opening Day next year. That is, unless the Royals can find a way to send him elsewhere, which would be a seemingly difficult proposition.
However, in their Offseason Outlook for the Royals, MLBTradeRumors.com gives an idea as to how Kansas City could not only get out from Infante’s final two years, but add another piece that could help. They propose a swap of Infante for another bad contract, such as Matt Garza of the Milwaukee Brewers. With that trade, the Royals would take on more money, but would fill out their rotation while providing the Brewers with some badly needed infield depth.
Despite being owed over $7 Million more than Infante during the next two seasons, Garza could be a solid fit for the Kansas City Royals as a reclamation project. His miserable 2015 season, where Garza produced a 6-14 record with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.567 WHiP, could well be due to his needing a change of scenery.
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While Garza would not be a top of the rotation starter for the Royals, he would certainly be a nice fit in the third or fourth starter role. A fly ball pitcher, Garza could see a renaissance similar to those enjoyed by Jason Vargas, Chris Young and other pitchers that the Royals have brought in to the spacious outfield of Kauffman Stadium. Add in the Royals excellent defense, and the struggles that Garza had last season could just be a blip on the radar.
At age 32 heading into next season, Garza would still be in his hypothetical prime, although at the very end. A solid innings eater who has averaged 170 innings over his past eight years, even with several minor injuries over the past few seasons, Garza could help relieve some of the pressure on Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy to be the top of the rotation starters they were expected to develop into.
Even though Matt Garza would not be that top of the rotation starter, the Kansas City Royals would still be a solid fit for the righty. If they can move Omar Infante as well, this is a trade that would make a great deal of sense.