Saturday, December 14, 2013

Omar the Prince Signs With Royals

Infante translates from Spanish to English as the title and rank for the son of the Kings of the Iberian Kingdom. So it was no surprise that Omar Infante agreed to terms Friday with the Kansas City Royals.

What is surprising is that KC was willing to give Infante a four-year deal, something the Yankees (reportedly offered 3-years, $24MM) and other teams refused to do. The cash is expected to be in the neighborhood of $30MM, though the exact amount is not yet known.

Infante won't give you a lot of offense - he has a .721 lifetime OPS - but he gives you the versatility of playing his primary position of second base and can fill in at shortstop and third base. He's also played in more than 100 games in the outfield. The Yankees were intrigued by that versatility, but smartly did not go beyond three years in their offer to the soon-to-be 32-year old.

The Royals will be Infante's fourth organization after he started and ended his pre-KC career in Detroit, with stops in Atlanta and Miami in between. He made his lone (controversial) All-Star appearance in 2010, a year in which he finished with a .321 batting average and a .775 OPS.

Kansas City hopes that Infante's signing can end the merry-go-round of second baseman the Royals have used over the last decade. Oddly, the front office seems to prefer second baseman whose names begin with the letter 'G'.

2013 - Chris Getz, Emilio Bonifacio, Elliot Johnson
2012 - Getz, Johnny Giavotella, Yuniesky Betancourt
2011 - Getz, Giavotella, Mike Aviles
2010 - Getz, Aviles, Alberto Callaspo
2009 - Callaspo
2008 - Callaspo, Mark Grudzielanek, Esteban German
2007 - Grudzielanek, German
2006 - Grudzielanek, German, Graffanino
2005-  Graffanino, Ruben Gotay, Joe McEwing, Denny Hocking
2004 - Graffanino, Gotay, Desi Relaford

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