New York Yankees president Randy Levine has stated that the team will not wait for Robinson Cano before they pursue other free agents. He’s put his money where his mouth is – or rather, he and GM Brian Cashman have put the Steinbrenner’s money where his mouth is with additions like Brian McCann and Brendan Ryan.
The Ryan signing gave the Yankees an insurance policy if injuries continue to limit Derek Jeter’s ability to play shortstop (Jeter appeared in only 17 games in 2013). They also traded for triple-A utility man Dean Anna, who won the Pacific League batting title in 2013. Still, the organization has continued to pursue Omar Infante in order to address insecurities at the other infield positions.
The Alex Rodriguez saga becomes more dramatic with each passing day, and it seems like all the gold in Fort Knox is not enough for Cano to return to the Bronx. Supplementing the Ryan signing by adding Infante could give the Yankees even greater infield depth and versatility, and provide a backup plan at second and third base if Cano signs elsewhere or if Rodriguez loses his suspension appeal. Infante also has experience playing in the outfield.
Infante turns 32 in December. He’s coming off an extremely productive 2013 in which he batted .318/.345/.450 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs in 118 games. He’s no Cano, but if New York does lose their slugging second baseman, Infante would be the best available replacement. If Cano does return to the Bronx, Infante’s versatility would allow him to remain an integral part of the team.
The Yankees have already added infield depth by signing Brendan Ryan. Adding Omar Infante could be even more worthwhile.