Sep 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals second basemen Emilio Bonifacio (64) tags out Texas Rangers base runner Leonys Martin (2) attempting to steal second during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Well, after a brief honeymoon that seemed to be a match made in heaven, the Kansas City Royals designated infielder Emilio Bonifacio for assignment on Saturday morning, according to an official team release. The move was made to make room for newly resigned pitcher Bruce Chen.
Bonifacio was acquired by the Royals from the Blue Jays for cash considerations on August 14th of last season. Prior to leaving Toronto, Bonifacio struggled both with the bat and in the field, hitting a measly .218/.258/.321 with 12 stolen bases, while also making 7 errors in 59 games at second base.
However, upon his arrival in Kansas City, Bonifacio turned things around quickly, slashing .285/.352/.348 with 16 stolen bases in 42 games with the Royals. That said, his fielding was still a struggle, with Bonifacio committing 3 more errors in a Royals uniform.
The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the two parties had just settled on a 2014 contract for $3.5 million, avoiding arbitration.
With that in mind, the Royals could trade Bonifacio within the next 10 days, but I wouldn’t bank on him making his way back to Toronto. The Blue Jays are focusing on improving their infield defense after struggling in that regard last season, and adding Bonifacio back into the mix certainly wouldn’t serve that need.
However, Toronto’s second base situation is still fluid, with Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, and Chris Getz in the mix, and Bonifacio does provide quite a bit of versatility, and speed, something the team could use in a bench role. If he could bring the bat he used in Kansas City with him, that could be beneficial in moderate usage.
However, I’m fairly certain that Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t make the same mistake twice.