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Omar Infante signs four-year deal with Royals; Yankees' second baseman search continues

Now that Infante is off the market, the Yankees will have to turn to Plan C for a second baseman.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Infante is no longer a possibility to be the Yankees' second baseman in 2014. The Royals signed Infante to a four-year, $30.25 million contract, according to Buster Olney. Earlier, he sought $40 million and a four-year deal, but he seems to have settled for less money since he got the fourth year he desired. Like Robinson Cano, Infante took a little bit less in AAV than the Yankees' offer of three years, $24 million to secure the extra year from the Royals.

I was against signing Infante for four years, $40 million, but four years, $30 million really isn't that bad since even if Infante's game turns to crap, he's a pretty decent utilityman, too. (That's likely what Infante will be by the latter half of the deal.) Although his defense is declining and he'll probably regress back to 90-100 wRC+ level in 2014 from his career year in 2013, I can't criticize that deal too much and would ultimately have been okay with the Yankees agreeing to it, given the dearth of second base options on the market.

In the end though, I'm not going to lose sleep over declining to give Infante a fourth year. The Yankees realized what happens when you don't make legitimate plans for a position in the offseason when they went into 2013 with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart as their primary catching option, and I'm cautiously optimistic that they will not make the same mistake with the second base position in 2014. Former Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis is still on the free agent market, as is Jeff Baker. Jesse wrote about both of them in free agent target posts, and neither seems like a bad choice for the Yankees if they want to go the relatively inexpensive route. Ellis would be my choice since while his bat is mediocre, he probably won't cost much and hasn't lost anything defensively, even going into his late 30s. Kelly Johnson is also an option, though the Yankees view him more in a utility role.

Then again, there's always the possibility that the Yankees decide "screw it" and bring aboard the declining Brandon Phillips and his ugly four-year $50 million contract via a trade with the Reds. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I'm personally rooting for Ellis, but it's anyone's guess as to who will be the second baseman come Opening Day.

I miss Bobinson.