KANSAS CITY, Kan. (CBS) --
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Royals have finalized a $30.25 million, four-year contract with veteran Omar Infante to become their primary second baseman.
An agreement was reached Friday, and the deal was announced Monday night.
Infante, who turns 32 on Dec. 26, should stabilize second base after the Royals churned through six players last season. None of them did enough to earn the job.
Infante hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs in 118 games for Detroit last season.
He received substantial interest from the New York Yankees, who were seeking a replacement for Robinson Cano. But the Yankees were hesitant to give Infante more than three years, and the Royals gave the versatile infielder an extra year.
KANSAS CITY, MO (December 16, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free agent infielder Omar Infante on a four-year contract, with a club option for 2018. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Infante, 31, hit .318 last season with 24 doubles, 10 homers and 51 RBI in 118 games for the Detroit Tigers. He played all 118 games at second base, but has started 188 games at shortstop, 63 games at third base and 67 in the outfield in his career. In 2013, he ranked fifth among Major League second basemen with a .450 slugging percentage and a .795 OPS. A right-handed hitter, Infante hit .301 (44-for-146) against left-handed pitching, and .326 (100-for-307) against righties. He also batted .325 (37-for-114) with runners in scoring position and had a .326 mark with runners on base (70-for-215). Omar is moving into a ballpark where he’s seen a good amount of success, hitting .314 in Kauffman Stadium (49-for-156), his highest average in a visiting ballpark where he has at least 150 at bats.
A 2010 All-Star with the Atlanta Braves, Infante finished that season third in the National League with a career-best .321 batting average and 125 singles, which ranked fourth in the league. Over the past four seasons with Atlanta (2010), Miami (2011-12) and Detroit (2012-13), Infante has hit .295 with 93 doubles, 21 triples, 37 homers, 200 RBI and a .415 slugging percentage. His 21 triples since the start of 2010 are the most among Major League second basemen. Defensively, the 12-year veteran infielder led the National League in assists (466) as a Marlin in 2011, ranked fourth among N.L. second sackers with a .989 fielding percentage and fifth with 75 double plays.
Infante resides in Lecheria, Venezuela with his wife, Yohanna. The couple has one son, Yomar.
The Royals have agreed to sign free agent infielder Omar Infante, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed. Buster Olney of ESPN first reported the deal. It's a four-year contract worth $30 million. The deal is still pending a physical.
Infante, 31, was said to be seeking a four-year, $40 million deal during the Winter Meetings earlier this week. The Yankees were also interested but limited their offer to three years and $24 million even after Robinson Cano left for the Mariners.
In 118 games this past season, Infante hit .318/.345/.450 (career high 113 OPS+) with 24 doubles and 10 home runs. He hit only .275/.308/.400 (91 OPS+) from 2011-12. Infante has experience all over the field but has played second base almost exclusively the last three seasons.
Royals' second baseman hit only .243/.296/.304 (70 OPS+) with four home runs in 2013, so it won't take much for Infante to be a pretty big upgrade.