I think its safe to say the $85 million payroll the Royals said they were bound to may be more myth than reality. In anticipation of the Winter Meetings, Jon Heyman reports the Royals are after former Tigers second baseman Omar Infante, although they will have to outbid the mighty Cano-less New York Yankees to get him.
#royals will try again to beat yanks on omar infante. should be strong market. also an uphill battle for kc.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 8, 2013
Infante is a right-handed hitting Venezuelan second baseman who will turn 32 in a few weeks. In twelve MLB seasons with the Tigers, Marlins, and Braves, he is a career .276/.319/.402 hitter. Last year for the Tigers he hit .318/.345/.450 with 10 HR 51 RBI in 476 plate appearances and 2.4 WAR. His value is tied mostly in hitting for average andh e is a high-contact hitter, with few walks or strikeouts. He has modest pop for a second baseman, hitting a career high 49 extra-base hits in 2012 with the Marlins and Tigers. He is a capable defender, although not exemplary.
Omar is thought to be seeking a 3-4 year deal at around $8-10 million per year. Consider the Royals were apparently willing to go $40 million over three years with Beltran, a deal for Infante would be a steal and would consider a much bigger upgrade for the Royals at second than Beltran would at RF/DH.