After two-and-a-half seasons of disappointing to downright abysmal play, the Royals have bid Omar Infante adieu:
It's happened. #Royals announce they've DFAd Omar Infante. LHP Bryan Flynn recalled from Omaha— Chris Fickett (@ChrisFickett) June 15, 2016
The move came as the play of Whit Merrifield and Christian Colon had finally and mercifully rendered his being on the field unnecessary. Both Colon and Merrifield had been blocked by the well-paid free agent acquisition for the past few seasons, but the defensive play upon which organizational defense of Infante hung finally began to slip to untenable levels for the club.
With Infante sitting for the past 11 days, even when Merrifield’s services were needed in the outfield with lefties on the hill, the writing was clearly on the wall. The sign was so clear that just today, former Royals Review overlord Craig Brown wrote a piece insisting Omar Infante had to go.
Infante was in the third year of a four-year, $30M deal, during which he was scheduled to be paid $8M in 2017 along with a mutual option in 2018 with a $2M buyout. Barring an unfathomable miracle in which Infante is actually a player desired by another team willing to trade for him, the Royals will be on the hook for that aforementioned $10M and the remainder of his 2016 salary (less a prorated portion of the league minimum should someone sign him after he becomes a free agent).
In his career as a Royal, Infante slashed an unpalatable .238/.269/.328 when factored with his defense made him worth a paltry -0.2 rWAR and -0.4 fWAR over his two-plus seasons donning the powder blues.
Southpaw Brian Flynn will join the Royals as the corresponding roster move. A passenger on the shuttle between Omaha and Kansas City, Flynn has thrown 23.2 innings, striking out 28 and walking 12 while owning a 3.04 ERA and 3.42 FIP against the Pacific Coast League.