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With free agency looming, Infante switches agents

BOSTON -- Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante were teammates in Miami before they came over to Detroit last summer, and they've been friends for a while. Now they are both clients of the same agent, with Infante switching his representation to Gene Mato.

Jon Morosi of first reported the switch on Twitter. Infante confirmed the change on Wednesday, noting he made the change earlier this summer.

Infante had been represented by Octagon and agent Alan Nero for most of his career. It's not uncommon anymore for players to switch agents before going into free agency. Jose Valverde jumped to Scott Boras last year, and Carlos Guillen went to Octagon and Scott Pucino in his final season in Detroit. Infante said the move wasn't about free agency, but the timing still sets up Mato to lead Infante into the market.

Mato spent last winter negotiating a five-year contract for Sanchez with the Tigers last year.

Infante is finishing up a two-year, $8 million contract he signed to stick with the Marlins in September 2011. The second baseman avoided the open market that year because he was finishing up a down season, but he'll go into this offseason with some of the strongest numbers of his career.

Infante's .319 batting average, .453 slugging percentage and .799 OPS heading into Wednesday night's game vs. the Red Sox all would be career highs for him in a season. Infante turns 32 in December, but depending on what happens with Robinson Cano, he could be set up to become one of the top middle infielders on the free-agent market this winter.

Infante said Wednesday he hasn't yet thought about free agency, but he intends to wait until the offseason before deciding on his future.

His situation could make things interesting for the Tigers. Hernan Perez, who is ranked the organization's No. 8 prospect by, seems to be in line as Detroit's second baseman of the future, especially defensively, but it isn't clear whether that future would be as soon as 2014.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
Read More: Detroit Tigers, Omar Infante