The Detroit Tigers’ search for a reliable every-day second baseman could result in them welcoming back a familiar face. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Wednesday that the Tigers are “in trade talks” with the Florida Marlins about Omar Infante, who played for Detroit from 2002-07.
At the end of that run, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski shipped Infante to the Cubs for outfielder Jacque Jones in what turned out to be one of the worst trades in club history. Infante, after being traded again a month later to the Braves, has carved out a niche as a versatile player and earned a trip to the 2010 All-Star Game while hitting .321 that year. Jones, meanwhile, batted .165 in 24 games for the Tigers and was released just a month into the 2008 season.
While Infante is capable of playing just about anywhere on the field — he started at second, short, third, left and right field last year — he has played exclusively at second base this season. Infante is currently hitting .284 with eight home runs and 33 RBI.
The 30-year-old Infante still has one year left on his current contract at $4 million, so he would not hit free agency until after the 2013 season. That may drive up the price tag on him a bit, since he would be more than a rental player, in theory.
The market for second basemen has been pretty thin thus far, as the Tigers have searched for an upgrade on the Ramon Santiago-Ryan Raburn-Danny Worth trio that has struggled at 2B through the first three-plus months of the season.