Tag: Omar Infante

Omar Infante Injury: Updates on Royals 2B’s Back and Return

Omar Infante’s disastrous regular season for the Kansas City Royals may be over, as it’s unlikely he’ll play again before the postseason due to a back injury.

Continue for updates. 

Infante to Have MRI; No Return Timetable 

Saturday, Sept. 19

Per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Royals manager Ned Yost said Infante will be “out for a while” and did not offer a potential return date for the veteran second baseman. 

Infante told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com he will undergo an MRI on his back Monday after the Royals finish a series in Detroit this weekend. 

The 33-year-old left Friday’s game against the Tigers in the fifth inning with an injury. If this is the end of his season, he did go out on a high note after driving in seven runs against Cleveland in an 8-4 win on Thursday. 

Unfortunately, that was about the only thing that’s gone right for Infante this season. He’s hitting .220/.234/.318 in 440 at-bats. 

The Royals had already reduced Infante’s playing time in the second half after acquiring Ben Zobrist from Oakland, so his absence on the field won’t impact the team’s quest to make a second consecutive World Series appearance.

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Power Ranking Kansas City Royals’ Offseason Signings, Trades so Far

The Kansas City Royals have been active in adding pieces to the club this offseason.  On the heels of a winning season, the team obviously feels that they will find themselves contending for the division title in 2014.

Contending for the division title did not require a complete overhaul of the roster.  The Royals were able to shop intelligently for pieces that would improve the team.  A backup catcher, a backup infielder, a rotation arm, a second baseman and a leadoff hitter were the shopping list items.  General manager Dayton Moore effectively evaluated his ability to field each one of those needs while sacrificing as little of his current roster as possible.

For the first time in recent memory, the Royals were willing to open the coffers and spend on a free agent acquisition.  They found a way to deal from a surplus of outfielders and relief pitchers to strengthen themselves elsewhere.

Here are five impact moves that Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals have pulled off this offseason, ranked in order of impact to the club.

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What Omar Infante Deal Means for Short-Term Plans for Royals, Yankees

The Kansas City Royals exacted their revenge on the New York Yankees, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, by outbidding them for second baseman Omar Infante. They agreed to terms Friday on a four-year, $30 million deal.

Olney visualizes the Royals’ potential Opening Day lineup, which is about as menacing as any you’ll see from a small-market team:

But this doesn’t mean that their offseason work is complete. And rest assured, the Yankees don’t intend to hibernate through the rest of the winter, either.

Let’s consider how the Infante signing will influence the conduct of these playoff hopefuls between now and the start of the 2014 season.


What’s Next for Kansas City?

The player in the Royals organization who’s most directly affected by the Infante news is Christian Colon.

The 24-year-old was added to the 40-man roster in November, via Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star, to protect him from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. He slashed .273/.335/.379 through 131 games at Triple-A last summer. Assistant general manager J.J. Picollo referred to Colon as a second baseman with the potential to be a “very steady, everyday player” at the major league level.

How’s he going to get that opportunity with Infante under contract through 2017?

Presumably by changing teams.

The versatile Emilio Bonifacio, who has substantial MLB experience in both the infield and outfield, now slides into the utility role that Colon was hoping to compete for in spring training.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore could use Colon as the centerpiece of a package for a controllable starting pitcher. Although Moore inked left-hander Jason Vargas to a $32 million deal in November, he’s not expected to individually replace Ervin Santana’s production.

Completing a signing of this magnitude could also be an indication that Billy Butler is getting dealt. The All-Star slugger is owed $8 million in 2014, plus there’s a 2015 club option worth $12.5 million ($1 million buyout).

Butler hogs the designated hitter’s spot on a daily basis, and that type of player has gradually become less popular around the American League. Moore even admits to Dutton that he’d like to rotate several players using the DH rule.

Either way, change seems imminent.


What’s Next for New York?

The Cincinnati Reds approached the Yankees about a Brandon Phillips trade during the winter meetings, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

They rejected it.

Now, this Infante development could send Bombers general manager Brian Cashman begging to get his seat back at the negotiating table. That’s because beyond Phillips, there don’t appear to be any potentially available second basemen who are definitively better than New York’s own Kelly Johnson.

The Atlanta Braves’ Dan Uggla is a year older than Phillips, owed more annually for the remainder of his contract, inferior with the glove and coming off a summer in which his strikeout total (171) nearly matched his batting average (.179). Free agent Brian Roberts never ceases to find new ways to sustain significant injuries. Mark Ellis is the oldest of them all—turns 37 in June—and although very effective in the field, he’s not a steady source of power, speed or durability.

On the bright side, settling for Roberts or Ellisor ignoring the second-base market entirelyencourages the Yankees to pursue top-tier free-agent starting pitching. Masahiro Tanaka appears to be the top priority, but Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez also compare favorably to the question marks currently filling out the back end of the club’s projected rotation.

The New York Post conveniently monitors the Yankees’ 2014 payroll to show how much wiggle room they have left before exceeding the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.

Here’s how they’re shaping out:

Looks like the Yankees have maxed out, right?

Keep in mind, however, that the signings of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran have given them a surplus of outfielders. Unless an injury occurs early in spring training, either Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki or Vernon Wells will depart prior to the regular season.

And how could we forget about the Alex Rodriguez saga? If his 211-game suspension holds, there will be another $27.5 million removed from their books. Even a reduction to 50 or 100 games would enable Cashman to acquire one of the aforementioned arms.

Missing out on Infante was certainly a disappointment for the Yankees, but they won’t dwell on it for long.


Ely is a national MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a sportscaster for 90.5 WVUM in Miami. He wants to make sweet, social love with all of you on Twitter.

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Omar Infante Reportedly Signs 4-Year Deal with Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a four-year contract with veteran second baseman Omar Infante, according to CBS Sports baseball writer and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman:

The deal will reportedly pay Infante $30 million over the next four years through the 2017 season. 

According to Spotrac, Infante’s previous deal paid him $8 million over two years. 

Infante, who will turn 32 on Dec. 26, has spent the past 12 seasons starring for the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves.

Kansas City wasn’t the only team gunning for the Venezuelan this offseason. As Drew Silva of Hardball Talk pointed out, the New York Yankees were also pursuing Infante to fill the void at second base left by Robinson Cano’s move to Seattle.

Plus, Infante is coming off one of the better years of his major-league career, batting .318 with 51 RBI and 10 home runs in 2013. As ESPN Stats & Info points out, Infante was one of the American League’s best at the plate last season:

Tigers’ play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba had only praise for Infante in the wake of his departure: 

Given his numbers and his experience, there’s no doubt the Royals have added a quality player who’s sure to bolster their infield. While some will debate the price tag, it’s hard to fault a franchise that hasn’t been in contention for decades for aiming to get better.

Infante made his major-league debut with the Tigers in 2002 and spent six seasons in Detroit before joining the Braves in 2008. After three seasons with Atlanta, Infante signed with the Marlins, who traded him back to the Tigers after one and a half seasons. 

Infante has appeared in the postseason on four separate occasions with the Tigers and Braves since 2006, and the Royals hope he can help lead them to the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

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Atlanta Braves: Top 3 Utility Players the Team Should Target

The offseason trade for Dan Uggla created a hole on the Braves roster. Okay, maybe it created two holes considering how poorly he has hit thus far, but the hole I was referring to was the departure of utility man Omar Infante.

When the trade was official, I applauded Wren for nabbing a slugger for the mere price of a super utility player and a lefty specialist. Yet, there was a small piece of me who cringed thinking perhaps the bench’s most important spot, it’s utility infielder, would be left in the unsure hands of rookies or minor league journeymen. 

During the 2011 season, the Braves have given chances to Brandon Hicks, Diory Hernandez and now Julio Lugo. While the jury is still out on Lugo, there isn’t much to hope for considering he is a 35-year-old who left his best days back in Tampa Bay in 2006.

With that in mind, the Braves may be seeking utility players at the trade deadline, preferably a right handed hitting one. Following are the top three which I would personally target if I were in Frank Wren’s shoes.

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MLB Power Rankings: Identifying the 10 Best Late-Round Fantasy Draft Steals

This article will identify the 10 best late-round fantasy draft steals.

When I identify these players, I will make reference to the draft I participated in with Yahoo! in terms of when these players were drafted.  I will also examine where Yahoo! has ranked said players overall and how that affects where they are taken in the draft.  I will also examine why these players would pay huge dividends for any fantasy team.

However, you should note that I am not trying to find you the next Jose Bautista, I am merely giving you elite players that you can wait until later to grab in the draft and be considered a genius.  So, without further ado…Let us begin!

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Is Omar Infante a Viable Late-Round Option?

Traded as part of the deal that sent Dan Uggla to Atlanta, Omar Infante is a player who brings some intrigue to fantasy owners for 2011.

For owners in most formats, he will have eligibility at 2B, 3B and OF (in formats that require less than 20 games, he will also have SS eligibility), which instantly adds to his appeal. 

However, does he bring enough to the table offensively to make him a worthwhile choice?

Let’s take a look at his 2010 offensive production for the Atlanta Braves:

471 AB, .321 BA (151 hits), 8 HR, 47 RBI, 65 RS, 7 SB, .359 OBP, .416 SLG, .355 BABIP.


Right off the bat, it is obvious that Infante brings no power and no speed to the table, so that is a major knock against him. 

Is there enough in the other categories to offset that?  Honestly, I’m not so sure.

We know he’s not going to generate a significant number of RBI, regardless of where he hits in the order.  In 2010, he had 26 extra base hits, the second-highest total he’s posted in the past five years (he had 30 in ’08). 

There’s just no reason to think anything significant is going to change.

The average was nice, but can we really anticipate him maintaining that type of BABIP?  For his career, Infante has a .313 BABIP, though he has been between .316 and .355 since 2006. 

If all else remained equal and his BABIP fell to .324 in ’10, his average would have dropped to .293. 

That seems like a lot more realistic of a mark.

Obviously, he needs to be a lock to hit over .300 to help offset his lack of power and speed.  Unfortunately, Infante is far from it.

Maybe he can score a few runs hitting second in the Marlins’ order, with Hanley Ramirez and company waiting behind him, but that is far from enough to overlook his other negatives. 

His OBP just isn’t enough to make us think he’ll approach 100 runs scored.  In fact, it’s no guarantee he surpasses 90.

Infante is a nice player for those in deeper formats, considering the position flexibility he brings to the table.  As someone that you may plug in for a few days at a time, or maybe a week or two tops, he’s not going to hurt you. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like he is going to help you, either. 

There are certainly other options I’d rather focus on, especially for those in deeper formats.

What about you?  Is Infante someone you wouldn’t mind drafting?  If so, what is it about his play that you like?

Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections:

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Florida Marlins Review: Can The Fish Offense Contend In The Nl East?

The Florida Marlins enter this year with a new ball club. They have so far made some necessary subtractions and some great additions,but as the Marlins make these changes division rivals are making strong notable improvements and these worry fans within the NL East.

Never the less the Marlins have made some big moves this off-season and here we will review their importance and value to help the marlins offense secure a playoff spot this 2011 season.

This review will take an in depth look at each position and how it has changed for the 2011 season.

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Dan Uggla Traded To Atlanta Braves: Florida Marlins Got What They Wanted

The Florida Marlins traded Dan Uggla on November 16 to their divisional rivals, the Atlanta Braves.  In the trade Atlanta sent over left handed reliever Mike Dunn and the versatile infielder Omar Infante, who had his big breakout season in 2010.  Early on, the trade has been labeled as disappointing return for the Fish.

Many people around baseball were shocked by this deal, Dan Uggla was perceived to have much greater value than a, until 2010, very pedestrian utility man like Infante, and a 26 year old southpaw who has trouble sticking at the major league level despite a fastball that has a career average velocity of 94.3 MPH. 

I assumed before the deal that Florida would take back some highly ranked valuable prospects in a deal for a lifetime .263/.349/.488 second baseman like Uggla. 

No second basemen have hit 30 home runs four years in a row like Dan Uggla, ever.  Dan Uggla is truly a unique offensive force, and one that more than makes up for a mediocre glove.  Despite consistently costing his team runs on the defensive side, Uggla made it to the majors on his bat alone at a primarily defensive position historically. 

So, why would Florida pass up on prospects for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn?

Public relations.  We all know that the Marlins do not have the most avid fan following in the MLB.  Frankly, any prospects they got for Uggla would have been forgotten by the casual Marlins fans by mid season, and they would be saying, “I wish we hadn’t traded Dan Uggla for nothing!” 

Now, the Marlins fans will see Infante in the everyday lineup playing the spot that Uggla vacated.  If Infante can reproduce his 2010 season some fans would even consider it a great trade. 

In 2010, Infante was an All-Star and hit .321/.359/.416, while his slugging was far from Ugglas’, he was still an impact bat especially at second base.  Infante also brings a better glove to the table than Uggla and is more than competent at not only second, but third base and short stop. 

Mike Dunn also will probably stick with the big league club and throw around 40 innings of mostly lefty on lefty duty, thus if he has any success he will be also used to call the Dan Uggla trade a win. With Dunn we probably have seen the last of a bevy of moves to improve what was a bad bullpen in 2010.

By taking the safe move the Marlins showed us that they are clearly looking to make the fans as happy as possible with the ball club before they open their new stadium in 2012.  This trade will pay off for them in the short run by keeping everyone’s mind off Dan Uggla with Omar Infante and Mike Dunn dressing up in the Fish pin stripes for 2011. 

In my opinion, it was a savvy move for a team that is consistently content to let big names leave and play it the safe way.  Also this move is kind of out of character for Florida since this was not the cheapest option available since Minor League players cost nothing and Infante will make about $2.5 million in 2011.

I actually like the move; I wish more teams would follow this model and take proven MLB players over a few decent low level prospects.  

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Fantasy Baseball Fantasy Fallout: Dan Uggla Traded to Braves

The Atlanta Braves have acquired second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins in exchange for infielder Omar Infante and pitcher Michael Dunn, according to mlb.com (click here for the article).

Uggla is clearly the biggest piece of this deal.  He’s coming off a season where he hit .287 with 33 H, 105 RBI, 100 R and 4 SB in 589 AB—his fourth consecutive season of at least 30 HR.  He did benefit from a .330 BABIP, but he also lowered his strikeout rate for the third consecutive season:

  • 2008 – 32.2%
  • 2009 – 26.6%
  • 2010 – 25.3%

It’s hard to imagine being able to maintain the BABIP, meaning a regression could come in the average department, even if he could maintain his improved strikeout rate.  Consider that his averages the prior three seasons were .245, .260 and .243, and the chances are likely that he regresses there.

However, he has always excelled in Turner Field:

  • 2008 – 31 AB, .484, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 12 R
  • 2009 – 34 AB, .353, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R
  • 2010 – 35 AB, .343, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R

His value does not change much, as he is going to continue to be a threat in the middle of the lineup.  Our initial rankings had him at sixth.  There is a chance that he moves up a spot (fifth was Brandon Phillips), but time will tell.

As for the rest of the fallout for the Braves, Martin Prado likely shifts to third base, if Chipper Jones is still out of action.  If Jones is healthy, Prado should move to the outfield.  In other words, they scored a huge victory and strengthened their lineup significantly.

For the Marlins, Infante is going to step into the starting second baseman job.  He represents a significant downgrade, however.  He offers little power, coming off a season with 8 HR and 47 RBI in 471 AB.

His average was his biggest asset, with a .321 mark in 2010.  Of course, it also came courtesy of a .355 BABIP.  If that regresses (which it likely will), we are looking at a player with little to no fantasy appeal.  Even if he were to hit .300, without power or speed (his career high is 13 SB in 2004) he brings no fantasy appeal.

He was in line to be an everyday player for the Braves, so this doesn’t bring much of a change to his value.  Maybe, if he ultimately hits second in Florida, he’ll score a few more runs, but that’s about it.  He’s not a player you want to target in your drafts.

Dunn is a strikeout machine, posting a 12.2 K/9 in 47.1 innings at Triple-A and a 12.8 K/9 in 19.0 innings for the Braves.  Of course, he has no control.  At Triple-A he posted a BB/9 of 4.8 and for the Braves a BB/9 of 8.1.

You have to like the upside he brings, as the Marlins continue to accumulate options for their middle relief corps (click here to view my write-up on the Marlins trades from the weekend), but from a fantasy perspective he’s not going to have value.  If he can’t consistently throw strikes, he’s a disaster waiting to happen.

On paper, it certainly appears like the Braves got a huge bargain and are the clear-cut winners in this trade.  What do you think?  Did the Braves get a big steal?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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