VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
Royals introduce new 2B Infante

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Omar Infante walked past the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, where he dressed so many times as a member of the Detroit Tigers, and slipped on a crisp, new Kansas City Royals jersey.

Advertisement
It was the latest sign of that the Royals intend to compete for the AL Central this season.

The Royals introduced their new second baseman Tuesday, one day after announcing they had agreed to a $30.25 million, four-year contract that includes a club option for 2018.

''I really got to see this team up close and I was very impressed by what they did last year,'' Infante said, ''and I think they're close to taking the next step.''

Infante, who turns 32 next week, fills perhaps the most glaring hole that remained in the Royals lineup. Kansas City used six different options at second base last season, and none did enough to make the club feel comfortable about them in what could be a pivotal season for the franchise.

The Royals are coming off an 86-76 season, their best record since 1989, and were in contention until the final week. But with star pitcher James Shields entering the final year of his contract, the window to break through to the playoffs for the first time since 1985 may be closing soon.

That's why the Royals have been aggressive this offseason. They've already sign left-hander Jason Vargas to a $32 million, four-year deal to make up for the likely loss of right-hander Ervin Santana in free agency, and traded reliever Will Smith to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Norichika Aoki.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said following the season that three most pressing needs were to add a starting pitcher, upgrade in the outfield and solidify the second base position.

Infante appears to be the final major item on the offseason shopping list.

''We like our club going forward,'' Moore said Tuesday. ''We've made a lot of improvements, but we fully expect and understand that we're going to have to massage our roster and keep making adjustments throughout the year, and hopefully stay injury free.''

Infante has had some injury troubles in the past, including an ankle injury that he picked up during a collision at second base that limited him to 118 games last season. But he still hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs, far better production than Kansas City got from its second basemen.

Emilio Bonifacio, Jamey Carroll, Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella, Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada combined to hit just .243 with four home runs last season.

Moore said earlier this offseason that he expected payroll to be about the same as it was in 2013, which was about $87 million. But the signing of Infante combined with expected raises for arbitration-eligible players means the payroll for next season will shoot past $90 million, a franchise record.

That's led to speculation that the Royals may have to trim salary, and rumors that designated hitter Billy Butler - who is owed $8.5 million next season with a club option for 2015 - may be available for a trade. Moore said such rumors amounted to ''hot stove rhetoric.''

''It's no different than you hear other players throughout the league that potentially are going to be moved,'' Moore said. ''Billy's a terrific hitter, and he's going to hit. That's what Billy does.''

As for the payroll, Moore said that ''we're not under any directive to cut,'' and that team owner David Glass has been supportive and flexible when it comes to signing players such as Infante.

''We all understand this makes really good sense, this type of deal,'' Moore said, ''and putting Omar on this team, Mr. Glass has always been supportive.''

Infante also received interest from the New York Yankees, who are searching for a replacement for Robinson Cano. But they were lukewarm about going beyond three years, allowing Kansas City to seal the deal by offering a fourth year to a player who will be 35 by the end of the contract.

''We think he can play,'' Moore said. ''The players that play in the middle of the diamond for a long time, they all have some commonalities. They're very smart, they're hard workers, good teammates, they know how to play, and that's why those guys have long careers.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Bookmaker: Tuesday's Best Bet
News: Win Total Update - August
Indians place Salazar, Miller on DL
Red Sox place RHP Barnes on DL
Dodgers bracing for Wood to hit DL
Hall of Fame broadcaster Ramirez dies
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
13-3 L3 Days, 8-3 L11 G-Plays
11-2 +990 L13, 26-9 +1,726 Streak
2-0 Y'day, 12-2 +1,051 L14 G-Plays
4-1 +405 Run, 11-5 +666 L16 Picks
4-1 +371 L5 G-Plays, +5,370 TY
6-2 L8 G-Plays, 17-10 +914 Picks
3-0 +377 Last 2 Days, +1,699 TY
8-0 G-Plays, 20-10 +943 L30 Picks
8-1 Last 9 MLB G-Plays
2-0 Y'day, 6-2 +425 L8 G-Plays
3-0 +365 Monday, 6-2 +575 GPlays
9-3, +623 Record L12 G-Plays
4-2 L6 Picks, 6-3 L9 Guarantees
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 32-17 L49 Totals
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Colorado Rockies at Kansas City Royals
2017 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 5370
Stephen Nover + 1699
ASA + 1054
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 2770
Chip Chirimbes + 1901
Stephen Nover + 1541
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2163
John Fisher + 735
Joe Williams + 578
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 758
ASA + 486
Joe Nelson + 359
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 992
John Fisher + 844
Stephen Nover + 616
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1596
Dave Cokin + 1414
Gary Bart + 1353
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership