From our intrepid high schooler:
Hearing Infante may be close to a decision. #Royals looking like serious possibility, may even be favorite.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 11, 2013
This doesn't please me. I'm not necessarily anti-Infante, but earlier rumors had Omar Infante looking for three years. A 32 year old second baseman who already plays average defense and whose offense is heavily BABIP dependent? No thanks.
I know the Royals are looking for an upgrade to Emilio Bonifacio. I also know the free agent market for second basemen is thin. If this goes down, it just kind of reeks of the desperation of past moves. "Hey, we need a second baseman and this Infante guy is a name! He's been good and stuff in the past. He has to be an upgrade. Right?"
In the old market - in last year's market - Infante would have been worth a couple of years at $5 to $6 million. With maybe an option. In this new, slightly more insane market, Infante is asking for at least three years at more than $8 million per according to Buster Olney.
Infante has been a solid second baseman. He ranks 10th in fWAR among his peers spanning 2011 to 2013. He built most of his value on his defense. However, the Fielding Bible graded him at -5 runs saved for last year. Basically, using that time frame, in the first two seasons his offense was slightly below league average while his defense was above average. Last year it flipped. His defense was below average, but he enjoyed an offensive resurgence.
Infante definitely represents an upgrade at second, but the free agent market and the terms he's asking would scare me off. What say you, Royals Review community?