In the event that the Yankees elect not to break the bank in signing the top free agent on the market (and on their roster) in second baseman Robinson Cano, there is reportedly a back-up plan in place in the form of a versatile utility man.
— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) November 4, 2013
Kevin Davidoff and George King of the New York Post are reporting that the Yankees have already expressed interest in Tigers 2B/OF Omar Infante, and that Brian Cashman did the digging himself:
“According to industry sources, general manager Brian Cashman has checked on second baseman Omar Infante during the period when teams and players could talk about everything but money.”
This shouldn’t be jarring news for anyone at this stage, as Infante would be valuable in just about any role with the Yankees, but it does shed a little bit of light into the realization that Cano could walk away from the team. The 32-year-old Infante derives much of his value from defensive versatility, but even in a full-time role at second base, he posted a .795 OPS with 10 home runs in 476 plate appearances with Detroit this season.
Infante is a favorite of many around Major League Baseball (ask any fan of the Atlanta Braves), but he certainly isn’t Robinson Cano. I frankly can’t imagine a scenario where the Yankees let Cano walk and don’t replace him with another “big” name (at least somewhere on the diamond), but this could have legs if they are attempting to cut payroll.