KC Royals: The 5 Worst Moves of Royals GM Dayton Moore

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Apr 6, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore walks on the field before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore walks on the field before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

5: Signing Omar Infante to a 4 Year Deal

To begin the 2013 season, the KC Royals had just made the James Shields and Wade Davis trade. There were young and emerging stars at each position including Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon now in LF, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Sal Perez. Right field going into 2013 was being played by Jeff Francoeur who was coming of a semi-down year in 2012 but had recently had a career year in 2011.

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With Billy Butler coming off a career year in 2012. The only real hole in the KC Royals lineup was at 2B. Prior to the 2012 season, the most recent years leading up-to 2013 saw the KC Royals attempt to use players like Chris Gets, Yuniesky Betancourt, Elliot Johnson, and even Mark Tehaen at 2B.

The revolving door at 2B for the KC Royals was a disappointing from 2010 – 2012. The rotation at 2B during that period posted a combined slash line of .260/300/.355 and had a WAR of -0.1. So after the KC Royals came up a bit short in 2013, Dayton Moore looked to the 2014 free agent market for help to fill the hole at 2B.

Omar Infante was signed to a 4 year 30 million dollar deal prior to the start of the 2014 season including a club option for 2017 of $10 million. In 2013, Omar Infante had a slash line of .318/.345/.450 helping the Tigers win the AL Central once again and it looked like the KC Royals had solidified 2B for the next 4-5 years. Unfortunately for KC, Infante’s 2013 appears to have been his peak.

2014 was Infante’s best year with the Royals posting a slash line of .252/.295/.337. In 2015 Infante battled injuries posting a slash line of .220/.234/.318 and a WAR of -.09.  Fortunatly the Royals found relief in 2015 when they rented Ben Zobrist to play 2B in their run to the championship.

2016 hasn’t begun much better of Infante as his current season slash line resembels 2015 at .239/.279/.321. Latley Ned Yost has favored playing Whitley Merrifield at 2B on days when LF is covered. On other days Christian Colon is getting more playing time at 2B after getting recalled from AAA.

Given the KC Royals budget, throwing away $7 million dollars per season on an unproductive player is something the Royals cannot afford to do often. It is for this reason that the medium-term deal given to Infante is number 5 on our list.

Next: Mistake No. 4

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