Omar Infante Signs Two-year Deal With FishBy
In a deal that was announced without much coverage Tuesday, the Marlins agreed to a two-year deal with second-baseman Omar Infante. While most of the baseball stratosphere was dedicated only to the developments of the Ozzie Guillen saga that took place the same day, it’s Infante that I am more excited to see don a Miami Marlins jersey next season.
As SCWS pointed out earlier this week, a manager’s value to a team and his impact on their performances on the field is most likely very little. As much as he dislikes it, Guillen is worth only one win over the course of a 162-game season, if not less. What Guillen will provide, granted, is many headline-ready quotes and the occasional rant. The latter I am already looking forward to. As you most likely already know, Ozzie agreed to a 4-year deal worth $10 million, signing the contract late Tuesday night. Also included is a minor league pitcher from the White Sox who has yet to be announced. To complete the trade, the Marlins are sending prospect Ozzie Martinez to Chicago.
With much less fanfare, Infante agreed to terms for $8 million over the next two seasons. After being traded over from the Braves before the season, Infante was assigned the difficult task of replacing fan favorite Dan Uggla. While he hasn’t made anyone forget Uggla’s exceptional 2010 season for the Marlins (4.9 fWAR), he was slightly more valuable compared to Uggla this season (2.6 vs. 2.5 fWAR).
Going forward, Marlins fans should expect very similar numbers offensively from Infante. He doesn’t hit for power or walk at a high rate, but he does hit for average, and he did so this year without the luck of an astronomical BABIP. This season, he also has decreased his K%, making him less reliant on a high BABIP. The 29-year Venezuelan old is still far-off from seeing a serious decline due to age, and I’m personally hoping he will be productive well into his mid-30′s.
The signing of Infante is key for the Marlins, and his value going forward should help keep the Marlins competitive in the powerful NL East, but if the team decides to rebuild, he could be a valuable trade chip at the deadline. Either way, Infante’s signing of the dotted line should be making the headlines in Miami, instead of this “Ozzie” guy.