Reinstalled as a regular for the first time since 2005, Omar Infante has spent most of the season as a pretty big disappointment for the Marlins. Like Dan Uggla, the second baseman he was traded for over the winter, Infante got off to a horrible start, as the 2010 All-Star for the Braves hit just .251/.293/.309 during the first half.
Infante, though, has been an excellent regular since, batting .337/.379/.515 in 169 at-bats. And now the Marlins want to keep him as they open their new ballpark next year, possibly in a multiyear deal, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports.
The 29-year-old Infante is making $2.5 million this year after having his club option picked up. He’ll probably be looking to a raise to $4 million or so in order to agree to terms now.
Infante, though, does want to remain with the Marlins. After years as a utilityman, he’s been allowed to find a home at second base in Miami. Even though Infante has plenty of experience at shortstop, third base and the outfield — all places where the Marlins have been unsettled at times this year — Infante hasn’t played a game at any position other than second.
Infante isn’t as bad as he was in the first half or as good as he’s playing right now. He’s an average regular at second base still in his prime, so a multiyear deal wouldn’t be such a bad thing. At the same time, given that there’s always going to be cheap second basemen kicking around, it’s debatable whether the thrifty Marlins would be smart to commit something like $8 million to him for two years. They’re already spending $45 million on five players next year, so Infante only makes sense if they’re willing to commit to a $70+ million payroll for 2012.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.