Royals Sign Omar Infante

TUESDAY: Infante will get $5MM in 2014, $7.5MM in '15, $7.75MM in '16, and $8MM in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).  The $10MM option for 2018 can be bought out for $2MM.

DECEMBER 16th: The Royals have announced the signing, and they'll hold a press conference Tuesday morning. The deal evidently includes a team option for 2018, although the terms aren't yet known.

DECEMBER 13th: The Royals and Omar Infante have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The deal is for $30.25MM and also includes incentives, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides were "very close" to a deal (also on Twitter). Infante is represented by agent Gene Mato. Infante was MLBTR's 18th-ranked free agent heading into the offseason.

Infante, 32 in two weeks, batted .318/.345/.450 with 10 homers and solid second base defense for the Tigers in 2013. The veteran also drew interest from the Yankees and Reds, with the Yankees reportedly offering a three-year deal worth $24MM.

The move marks the next step in the Royals' offseason, a relatively eventful one for a small-market team. In addition to Infante, they've also added Jason Vargas and Norichika Aoki. As with Vargas' contract, Infante's offers the Royals a very reasonable average annual value, although it's a strong possibility that Infante won't be particularly effective at the end of the deal, when he'll be 35. Infante had been rumored to be seeking north of $8MM per year, and he settled for slightly less, though four years is a longer contract than he might have expected. At the beginning of the offseason, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted Infante would win a three-year, $25MM deal.

Before Infante agreed to terms, Emilio Bonifacio and Johnny Giavotella had been the Royals' top options at second base. Infante did not receive a qualifying offer, so the Royals will not have to sacrifice a draft pick to sign him.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


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216 Comments on "Royals Sign Omar Infante"


DerekJeterDan
1 year 8 months ago

As a Yankees fan I’m actually happy the Royals signed Omar Infante.
Yankees took Beltran from them. They deserve this answer at 2B.
Yankees will just have to look elsewhere. Good quality bat added for KC.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Yankees can go after either Blake Beaven & PTBN (C Level prospect) from the Seattle Mariners for Ichiro or Vernon Wells (to come off the bench platooning w/ Logan Morrison) and cash or a mid level pitching prospect.

Vmmercan
1 year 8 months ago

I would love to take a flyer on Ackley.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 8 months ago

The Yankees are not going to get anything worth more than a bag of balls for Ichiro and/or Vernon Wells.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 8 months ago

So you think Wells and Ichiro combine for positive trade value?

Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Not really by also sending a pitching prospect at mid level to the Mariners for either Ichiro or Wells that has more value between the two. Willingham can be as good as Ibanez 2.0 if he can stay healthy to help the Mariners contend for the playoffs as 2014 version of this past season’s Orioles.

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

That’s what the M’s need, a lousy veteran and a mediocre pitching prospect.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Not really unless Gardner instead of Ichiro/Wells & pitcher Robertson for relief pitching goes to the Mariners for Erasmo Ramirez or Paxton, Tyler Pike, Nick Franklin, Stefan Romero, and a PTBN for a better trade.

rwj14
1 year 8 months ago

No we don’t need a 36yr old outfielder who didn’t want to be here. I would definitely take Robertson but your asking for way way too much. Tyler Pike no way Paxton no way. How about Nick Franklin Erasmo Ramirez & Romero for Gardner and Robertson but gardner would have to sign a 3 year for your deal with the mariners before the deal would be complete

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Totally can understand. Which of the two outfielders between Ichiro or Alfonso Soriano can bring a good trade value?

Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Ichiro/Wells can come off the bench to backup Morrison & Willingham (if the Mariners can acquire him from the Twins w/ Worley) for former Yankees Montero, Justin Smoak (gets traded to the Pirates for Travis Snider or a prospect), Tyler Pike or Anthony Fernandez, John Hicks, and a PTBN.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Yes, because the Twins will trade a starting pitcher they just signed to a long contract. That makes total sense. Hey maybe the Mariners will trade Robinson Cano to the Yankees now that they’ve signed him.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

I meant Vance Worley since Nolasco just signed from the Marlins/Dodgers in the mid season trade. Worley can pitch as a third or fourth in the starting rotation as he’s better than Harang.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Ok Worley makes more sense. And Nolasco just signed from the Dodgers, not the Marlins.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Hope Worley is a slight upgrade over Harang and/or Saunders.

Harley Schultz
1 year 8 months ago

i doubt it since he couldn’t crack a rotation of ERAs right around 5.50 last year

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Is there a starting or relief pitcher that can be packaged w/ Willingham for those players mention (just Smosk or Montero & another player instead) that the Twins could trade to the Mariners?

Harley Schultz
1 year 8 months ago

its just that smoak annd montero dont make much sense for twins. we have Pinto & Doumit at catcher with Mauer as a third option. Mauer is everyday 1B so no spot for smoak there. Willingham probably splits LF/DH duties with Kubel/Doumit right now so no real spot there, even if we trade Willingham.
Plus Willingham’s value is minimal right now, midseason it may be better as a rental. Plus he seems to like it here and is a good community guy (Twins seem to like that sort of thing). I could see us maybe dealing him for Franklin if the M’s were willing to do that but I doubt they would. I’m also pretty sure we’d deal him for Michael Saunders but again I doubt the M’s would do that.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Hope Worley is a slight upgrade over Harang and/or Saunders.

0vercast
1 year 8 months ago

Trading Worley right now would be the definition of ‘selling low’ in baseball.
Why would they do that when they have 2 or 3 wide-open rotation spots? Despite their recent signings, SP is still their most glaring need.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

That’s why I included Tyler Pike that may help the Twins in 2015 if some of the AAA pitchers from last season are ready to jump to the a Twins roster.

Harley Schultz
1 year 8 months ago

the problem is the twins pitching staff from last year was their AAA starters. I guarantee the Twins have zero interest in smoak, montero, and some of the other people you have named. I also doubt we’d trade Willingham before the All-Star break.

rwj14
1 year 8 months ago

No. Not at all. You couldn’t give the Mariners Ichiro & Vernon Wells even if the Yankees paid their full contracts.

angryredmenace
1 year 8 months ago

The Yankees would be lucky to get a six pack and a lotto ticket for Ichiro/Wells, yet alone Ackley or Franklin.To put it simply, the Yankees don’t have much to trade for either player, and I would say it’s a safe bet one if not both Ackley/Franklin gets moved in a deal for a legitimate hitter.

jorionwood
1 year 8 months ago

megamillions is over $550M. I think that you are too convinced that someone would buy that high from the Yankees and their 1/110000000 chance of winning that jackpot.

James F
1 year 8 months ago

Ichiro is probably worth Carlos Peguero at this point lol.

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

And that’s after Peguero’s wife stole thousands of dollars from Felix.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Peguero, Franklin or Ackley, Paxton or Erasmo Ramirez, Tyler Pike, Stefan Romero to replace A-Rod, and a player to be named for Beltran & Robertson or Nova would make more sense.

gavinrendar
1 year 8 months ago

Ms won’t trade the young Franklin for Wells or Ichiro. Would likely be for Gardner.

johnrhee
1 year 8 months ago

Unless it’s a three way deal sending Gardner else to a team that the Mariners are willing to acquire pitching other than Price but of his caliber as a third starting pitcher that may be out there by giving up Franklin, Montero or Smoak, & mid level prospect.

rwj14
1 year 8 months ago

Ty would but the Yankees would have to give their top position prospect plus give the Mariners 72 hours to negotiate a 3-4 year deal with Gardner. No point in trading a young stud for season rental. Gardner would be perfect for Safeco Field. He’d get 40+ stolen bases & 10 triples easily.

rwj14
1 year 8 months ago

Seriously Johnrhee!!!! Do you think the Mariners are that stupid? I wouldn’t give a bag of shit for Ichiro or Vernon Wells even if the Yankees paid there contracts. I would trade Nick Franklin & Blake Beavan for Brett Gardner & your best pitching prospect with a 72 hour window to see if the Mariners could sign Gardner to a 3 or 4 year deal.

Jose Franco
1 year 8 months ago

Dan, when making your team roster prepare to draw blood. Who lost the 1927 World Series? You know? I sure don’t just like most people. It’s about giving your team the best chance to win the World Series or bust. This is how we do in The Bronx! Omar Infante was offered more money by the Royals because they valued him more than the Yankees did. As a merciless Yankee fan I’m not happy he got away but must admit it’s a healthy sign for baseball’s competitive balance when small market teams outbid the Yankees.

kcstengelSr
1 year 8 months ago

good luck with kelly johnson

Tomahawk237
1 year 8 months ago

Dan Uggla is always available.

kcstengelSr
1 year 8 months ago

2014 reported salaries. KC for Infante $5M. St.L. for Ellis $5.25M+. NY for Roberts and Johnson $5M+.

letsgogiants
1 year 8 months ago

Well, the Royals have now added two guys in Aoki and Infante that should be solid table setters for guys like Gordon, Butler (if he isn’t traded), Hosmer, and Perez. Though it remains to be seen whether we will see the 2010/13 version or the 2011/2012 of Infante during his contract.

Matt Talbert
1 year 8 months ago

Royals IMO still need another big bat and an arm to deepen the rotation, I like Shields but they need another good arm to stick in the #2 slot and then they’d IMO be alegit contender. I’d love for them to get a cleanup hitter (Cruz maybe to hit between Hosmer and Gordon…that’s a pretty deep/solid lineup. They should get in the running for Samard.

Patrick Sullivan
1 year 8 months ago

They haven’t proven anything yet, so if you’re skeptical on a legit #2 for that reason, then ok, but Danny Duffy and to a lesser extent, Yordano Ventura, absolutely have #2 upside, and it’s not that far off. More experience for Ventura and Duffy learning he can’t nibble, and you have a strong enough top 3…then add Zimmer by August 1, and they could absolutely be a 750 inning, sub 4.00 ERA rotation

kcstengelSr
1 year 8 months ago

exactly

MoCrash
1 year 8 months ago

I see Cruz as a poor fit. While another power bat would be nice, it would need to be a line-drive 60+ DO/HR combo rather than a fly-ball hitter whose HR numbers were inflated playing half his games at Arlington. Butler hit 29 HR in 2012 and other than his propensity for hitting into DPs due to being slow is better suited for The K than Cruz — whose 5.9 WAR over the last three years is lower than Butler’s 7.6. Cruz’ defense has also declined to the point where he is not a suitable OF option, so the Royals wouldn’t even accomplish their objective of having a rotating DH.

jdouble777
1 year 8 months ago

Yankees are getting….handed to them this off-season.

I never thought I would say this, but the Royal are contenders.

Vmmercan
1 year 8 months ago

Seems more like the Yankees have gotten everyone they were realistically targeting at their price.

Sam
1 year 8 months ago

They were contenders before signing infante.

jorionwood
1 year 8 months ago

That division is absolutely winnable. The Tigers are not a lock for the central. I do like the Royals because they have about the same young core with that much more experience. I wouldn’t be shocked to see KC make the playoffs.

alexamato
1 year 8 months ago

nice signing. not an overpay. good one KC

Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Now Ms trade Franklin for Gardner

JacksTigers
1 year 8 months ago

M’s fan?

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

You don’t think 1 year of Gardner is worth 6 years of Franklin?

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

Its a very fair trade..

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

Not really. Unless the M’s think they will make the World Series it is lopsided.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

Fair trade talent wise. Doesn’t make sense for the Mariners. If I was the Yankees, I’d be jumping for joy and accept that.

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah, there’s no way the M’s ship off someone like Franklin for a rental.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

I wouldn’t rule it out. They did JUST give 1/6M + incentives to a aging Cory Hart, and 5M to a aging Willie Bloomqest.

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

Hart was the best right-handed power hitter on the market, and $6MM is practically nothing in baseball terms. And it’s $5MM over 2 years, it’s an overpay, but who cares?

Haastile
1 year 8 months ago

Corey Hart has massive upside for a 1 year/6 mil contract.

Brett Garten
1 year 8 months ago

No such thing as a bad one year deal.

Nick Costanza
1 year 8 months ago

That Scott Baker deal last offseason really paid off.

BadBJay
1 year 8 months ago

Every time I heard Franklin’s name come up, he’s on the DL. Can’t stay healthy. Yanks need an infielder, not another outfielder – good defense or not.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 8 months ago

Nick Franklin not Franklin Gutierrez

The_Unnatural
1 year 8 months ago

That’s a massive overpay for the M’s.

Patrick Sullivan
1 year 8 months ago

No it’s not. Power bats START at 7 figures. The fact they got Hart to agree to incentive-laden deal is great move. You do understand if he makes $13, he will have produced at 2008 numbers, don’t you? Incentives are completely performance based, and their are always, 100% a huge win for the club.

Patrick Sullivan
1 year 8 months ago

Sorry, start at 8 figures.

Yankees420
1 year 8 months ago

Technically, the incentives are appearance based, one just hopes that if he’s healthy then he’s producing like vintage Hart (making the contract a steal), but that is far from a guarantee after an entire year being injured. And if his K numbers rise at all above the 24% he posted in 2012, things could get ugly.

David Rivera
1 year 8 months ago

My Yankees are gonna have to find the way to trade for Brandon Phillips now. Very soon before the miss the bus like they just did with infante.

Nuxall
1 year 8 months ago

Cough it up…

ultimate913
1 year 8 months ago

Been down this road already. Yankees have already said no. Let’s move on.

alphabet_soup5
1 year 8 months ago

Waiting for Yankees fans to rationalize and downplay this move, although if they had signed Infante they would talk about his good skills and how much they needed him.

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 8 months ago

You are correct!!

JacksTigers
1 year 8 months ago

Every fan base does that.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

Phillies fan don’t hype up anyone.

Hernadez signing: Too old, over pay
Nieves: Too old
Byrd: Too old
Papelbon: 60M dollars for a reliever and he has been very good in his first 2 years.
Howard: Was a great signing! 2 years later.. wtf was Amaro thinking??
Rollins: Too much cash.
Ruiz: Too long in years

asdf asdf
1 year 8 months ago

Yup because Yankee fans are the only ones that do that.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 8 months ago

Why does KC always sign the most random marginal players to multi-year deals? Infante, Guthrie, Gil Meche, Vargas, etc. I feel like they’ve gotten lucky that they’ve gotten some production from some of these guys.

oct27
1 year 8 months ago

Right….because KC was the only team looking to give Infante a multi year deal.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 8 months ago

That’s not my point. Although Infante isn’t a miserable buy at 4/$30MM, he simply isn’t that good along with all of the other guys I named. I just don’t see why they wouldn’t use these resources on a little bit of a bigger splash/impact player.

oct27
1 year 8 months ago

When you have multiple holes to fill….filling them is sometimes more effective than putting all of your resources in one place. I think this was the necessary approach for the Royals.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 8 months ago

I can see this point but I’m not necessarily saying put it all in one place.

That $7.5 million for each of the next 4 years could go a long way for that organization, to either put towards an impact player or spending a little more each on multiple players. Vargas + Infante are going to make roughly $15MM, wouldn’t you rather one impact bat at that price rather than those 2 players? Especially when a guy like Vargas is pretty replaceable.

If I’m not mistaken, Vargas/Infante are now the 4th/5th highest paid on the team. Not a good allocation of payroll in my opinion if you look at it that way.

Haastile
1 year 8 months ago

The upside is with Vargas+ Infante. It’s very possible that each has a 2 WAR season which would equal Shin Soo Choo’s 2013. The difference is you will be paying Choo 15 mil when hes not putting that value up. The risk is spread out over multiple players as well.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t discredit WAR, but it’s not the end all be all that people make it out to be for judging contracts.

Sure, 2 of them combined could equal Choo in one stat, but the chance of Infante or Vargas being bad are way higher, and their ceiling isn’t anywhere near Choo’s. The risk isn’t as spread out, but the amount of risk is higher based on the players we’re talking about. You’re also forgetting to add in the value of a cheaper replacement for Vargas, which can be close to or better than him.

Value may be relative to other things too besides whether your WAR = salary. In a business sense, a player like Choo will get some fans in the seats and sell some jerseys. Nobody’s coming to see Infante or Vargas.

MoCrash
1 year 8 months ago

Choo is not a superstar with a proven track record for selling tickets or jerseys. He’s a good OBP batter with modest power and declining defensive abilities, which the Royals already have in Butler — who is a star to Royals’ fans with a proven track record for selling BBQ sauce. In the aggregate get as much from the combo of Infante and Aoki for under $10M than they do for Choo at $15M+. If the Royals has a $120M payroll, then the better signing would have been Cano, but a team with an $85M payroll has to spread out its resources.

Nick Costanza
1 year 8 months ago

First of all, you spread the injury risk out between two players. Say Choo tears his ACL in spring training…well there goes all of the spending down the drain. But if that happens to Infante, at least Vargas is still around.

I like the moves the Royals made (and I’m a White Sox fan, one of the few left it seems). When you take less spectacular guys, you need to overpay less for name value. And as was said below, nobody is coming to the ballpark to see Choo.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 8 months ago

You can make that injury hypothetical for any player or team in any sport.

I actually agree that Choo isn’t a headliner like that and meant it literally when I said “player like Choo”, but was just continuing to use him as the example for a higher quality player (which I still believe they should have targeted–not just this offseason, but over the past few years).

Jhwendland
1 year 8 months ago

Speaking of money misallocation by the Royals, don’t forget about the combined $9.6 million going to bullpen arms Davis and Hochevar next year.

brstreet9
1 year 8 months ago

I wonder how long it takes before Hochevar is traded? One of the best bullpens, with these two signings, I would think Hochevar is moved.

kcmark
1 year 8 months ago

Because teams win with good/solid players, not a roster of all-stars.

Shaun Newkirk
1 year 8 months ago

Well… A roster full of all-stars certainly wins games too.

kcmark
1 year 8 months ago

Because teams win with good/solid players, not a roster of all-stars.

stew4073
1 year 8 months ago

Because when your team has a history of losing you have to over pay to convince even marginal players to join the squad. They’ve overpaid in years in most cases because marginal players value security.

josh
1 year 8 months ago

Phillips to Yankees for Gardner, just watch.

LEX STEEL
1 year 8 months ago

They already rejected that trade.

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

If it does happen it won’t be strait up.

GoForThree
1 year 8 months ago

George Strait up?

Josh Blackfeild
1 year 8 months ago

What?

Nuxall
1 year 8 months ago

Interesting…KC is the place where the Omar Infantes of the world go to die…he could have gone to Cincy on a shorter deal and boosted his value tremendously…poor agent and poor decision…

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

If he goes to Cincy, where exactly would he of played? His best bet was either NY teams, then the Mets trade Murphy/he replaces Cano.

Lord of the Fries
1 year 8 months ago

The Mets would have been silly to sign him at that price, Murphy had virtually the same WAR at a much lower price. Obviously Infante is a far superior defensive player, but the Mets are better off keeping Murphy if they can’t get anything good for him.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 8 months ago

Infante had .6 higher war. Doesn’t seem like much, but it is pretty good. I agree that they shouldn’t trade Murphy unless they get a good return, and/or they are sure they got a better alternative.

Lord of the Fries
1 year 8 months ago

I’m skeptical that they’ll really trade him. I don’t see Murphy fetching enough in a trade for it to be worthwhile.
I think they’re done making major moves outside of an Ike Davis trade.

chicothekid
1 year 8 months ago

I’m wondering what this does to Murphy’s trade value actually. There is one less option out there for the Yankees now, and Murphy can play 2b or 3b if needed. The Yanks have quite a few prospects that would interest the Mets. It seems to make WAY too much sense.

Lord of the Fries
1 year 8 months ago

That’d be an interesting move.
I’m against trading him for Gardner though, that’s not who the Mets need. I’m not as familiar with their farm system, but do they have a good middle infield prospect ?