The Kansas City Royals are still hungry for improvement at this year’s Winter Meetings, and they are now the front-runners in an important free agent chase. According to Chris Cotillo of MLB’s Daily Dish, the Royals are currently being considered the favorites to sign free agent second baseman Omar Infante.
Reports from yesterday explained that Infante wants upwards of $8 million a year, so does that mean KC is ready to match that? More importantly, how does this potential signing affect the team moving forward?
Signing Infante is the move that KC needs to make to solidify their offense for 2014, unless they can find a way to make a trade for Daniel Murphy instead. Second base is clearly the position that needs an upgrade, and these are the two clearest options for making that happen. One dark thought continues to loom in the back of my mind as we consider this deal, though – would this mean saying goodbye to another important member of the team?
$8 million per year over a two- or three-year deal would be a bargain for Infante’s offensive production and defensive steadiness, but CBS’ Jon Heyman and others think he could reasonably fetch $10 million per year. Maybe this would mean that Royals owner David Glass succumbs to increasing payroll, but more likely it means trading away players to reduce costs. As always, the under-appreciated Billy Butler comes to mind when we’re talking about making bad trades.
If this Infante deal goes through and the Royals keep the rest of the batting lineup intact, this would be great news for Kansas City fans. If it precedes an offensive downgrade in order to cut costs, “disappointing” won’t be a strong enough word.