Infante agreed to a minor league contract with the Braves on Thursday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Infante was cut loose by the Royals last week after clearing through waivers unclaimed, and he'll now get the chance to continue his career in Atlanta. The 34-year-old was hitting just .239 this season after slashing a disappointing .220/.234/.318 in 2015, so it remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank but he could get an opportunity to provide middle infield depth in the majors at some point.
Infante cleared waivers Thursday and is now an unrestricted free agent, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Given his .239/.279/.321 slash line through 39 games and remaining contract, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Infante was able to pass through waivers unclaimed. Following two and a half mediocre seasons in Kansas City, he'll now be free to sign with any team and it's possible he'll attract some interest as a middle infield depth option.
The Royals requested release waivers on Infante, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. Designated for assignment last week, Infante will now become a free agent if he isn't claimed by Thursday. Given his sizable contract in combination with his lack of production the past three years, he figures to pass through unclaimed.
Infante was designated for assignment Wednesday. Infante had seen a drastic decline in his playing time of late, as his last at bat came June 2. The veteran second baseman lost his grip on a starting role following a rough May in which he hit just .211 and eventually gave way to Whit Merrifield full time. The 34-year-old hasn't hit better than .252 in a season since arriving in Kansas City in 2014, but it's possible he'll attract some interest from other teams as a middle infield depth option.
Infante's playing time is taken a significant hit recently despite a slew of injuries to the Kansas City infield. According to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, Royals manager Ned Yost is currently defining Infante's role as "protection" against further injuries. Infante hasn't started since June 2, while Cheslor Cuthert, Christian Colon, and Whit Merrifield have been seeing regularly playing time. With an empty .239/.279/.321 line through 39 games this season, the Royals appear to have accepted Infante's contract as a sunk cost. On the books at the pro-rated portion of $7.8 million for the rest of this season and at $8 million in 2017 (plus a $2 million buyout for a 2018 team option), there is no guarantee that Infante will retain a roster spot with the Royals as the season progresses.