ATLANTA -- Though they do not have an apparent need for a backup infielder, the Braves opted to give veteran Omar Infante a chance to prove he still has something left while playing in their Minor League system.One week after being released by the Royals, Infante agreed to the terms
ATLANTA -- Though they do not have an apparent need for a backup infielder, the Braves opted to give veteran Omar Infante a chance to prove he still has something left while playing in their Minor League system.
One week after being released by the Royals, Infante agreed to the terms of a Minor League deal with the Braves on Thursday. The 34-year-old will begin playing with Rookie Level Danville next week, and then once he is deemed ready, he'll begin playing for Triple-A Gwinnett.
"We saw it as a no-risk move for us where we could get a really good player who could give us one more option," Braves general manager John Coppolella said.
The Braves created a need for a middle infielder on Thursday, when they opted to send prospect Ozzie Albies from Triple-A Gwinnett back to Double-A Mississippi. But because Infante has not played since June 6 and has compiled just seven at-bats since the start of June, he will get back into playing shape with Danville before likely making the jump to Gwinnett.
Infante has batted .238 and compiled a .597 OPS since signing a four-year, $30.25 million deal with the Royals before the 2014 season. If he were to reach the Majors before this contract expires at the end of the 2017 season, the Braves would only be responsible to pay him a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum.
While playing for Atlanta from 2008-2010, Infante batted .309, recorded a .763 OPS and provided a strong clubhouse presence that was often lauded by former manager Bobby Cox. He earned his only All-Star selection in 2010.
"He was a great player for the Braves," Coppolella said. "As great of a player as he is, he's also a great person."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.