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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