The situation at second base for the New York Yankees has been well documented over the past several days. They lost All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano when he decided to take a 10-year, $240 million contract to play for the Seattle Mariners instead of playing in The Big Apple.
They also signed Kelly Johnson, who is a career .253 hitter and most certainly will not be the full-time replacement for Cano at second base. That means Cano’s replacement is either still coming to the Yankees from outside the organization, and that player should be Omar Infante.
Infante makes a lot of sense to become the Yankees’ new second baseman. He will never be confused for Cano on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, but he brings a level of consistency to the field. Infante simply is a solid player and is coming off the best offensive season of his career, batting .318/.450/.795 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs during his campaign with the Detroit Tigers last year.
Infante has made only one All-Star team back in 2010, but as a .279 career hitter who has batted over .300 in three of the last five seasons with respectable on-base percentages around .350 in those years, he will not be a weakness at the dish for the Yankees. Infante is pretty much a middle-of-the-road defender, but he is stable enough to get the job done and should be consistent enough to not give the Yankees a headache.
Throughout the process of finding a player to replace Cano at second base, Yankees fans need to realize that there will not be anyone coming to the team via free agency or trade who is as good as Cano. During the last five years of his time in pinstripes, Cano was simply the best second baseman in all of baseball.
The goal for the Yankees and a goal that Yankees fans need to accept is to find a guy who will produce, be dependable at the plate and in the field and be a good clubhouse presence who won’t be a distraction off the field. Infante is that guy.