Kansas City Royals May Have Unexpected Gift in Omar Infante


The Kansas City Royals are once again shopping Omar Infante, but with little interest. Perhaps that will actually be an unexpected gift for the Royals going forward.

People tend to be in a forgiving mood around the holidays. Whether it’s from the nature of the holiday, or the copious amounts of alcohol needed to make one’s relatives seem somewhat human, people are generally friendlier and more willing to let bygones be bygones. It is also a time of optimism, where everything seems brighter and happier, that the upcoming new year will make a substantial difference in our fortunes.

Perhaps these reasons, or the bottles of Old Rasputin that have been consumed while wrapping gifts for my six year old twins, are coloring my thoughts about the Royals beleaguered second baseman Omar Infante. For the second consecutive season, Infante was a disappointment for the Royals offensively. And, for the second consecutive season, the Royals are looking to shop Infante.

Naturally, Infante is drawing virtually no interest. This could actually work out in the Royals favor however. At this point in time, given Infante’s struggles since joining the Royals, Dayton Moore would be selling low on the second baseman. The Royals would also likely need to eat a portion of that contract, unless they were to trade him for another equally bad deal.

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It is also worth noting that the Royals still do not know what they have in Omar Infante. He has battled through injuries which have sapped his offensive ability, his .238/.268/.329 batting line making us pine for the days of Chris Getz and Carlos Febles. Yet, when healthy, Infante has been a solid enough major league second baseman, with a career .272/.309/.389 batting line. His OPS+ of 88 may be below the league average, but Infante is a much more capable hitter than he has appeared to be during his time with the Royals.

Infante also enjoys a special chemistry with Alcides Escobar when it comes to making plays on the infield. Both players seem to have an innate sense of where the other will be, allowing them to turn some truly jaw dropping double plays. For a team that relies so heavily upon its defense, that type of chemistry cannot be overlooked.

A healthy Infante obviously helps the Royals in a couple of different ways. First, if Infante is able to actually remain healthy during the 2016 season, he may keep second base from being the black hole on offense that it had been over the past few seasons, Ben Zobrist‘s exploits notwithstanding. Secondly, should the Royals still want to move on from Infante following next year, it would be easier to do so with only one year left on his contract and a season where he actually came through.

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Right now, the Kansas City Royals could not give Omar Infante away if they tried. This may turn out to be a positive for the 2016 season.