I hope everyone had a good time at the Dodger fanfest today. While everyone was busy at fanfest, the Dodgers were still looking for ways to improve their roster before spring training camp breaks. According to a tweet from Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are looking to sign another infielder within the next few days.
Ned Colletti said he intends to sign another INF on a minor league deal in next five days.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 1, 2014
The Dodgers are eyeing some middle infield depth. But with little options available on the free agent market who can the Dodgers pick up? Dustin had mentioned one guy in particular, and he had crossed my mind a few weeks before. Emilio Bonifacio. Earlier this afternoon the Royals designated him for assignment. He isn’t a free agent yet, but the Royals could wind up releasing him, and probably will be trying to move him. The Royals had originally reached agreement with the 28-year-old utility player on a one-year 3.5 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration back in January. However the Royals recently resigned Bruce Chen, and in order to clear roster space, they designated Bonifacio for assignment.
The Dodgers need another infielder specifically one who can play second, third, and short. Bonifacio has experience at all three infield positions.
What Bonafacio brings to the table is versatility, speed, and a decent bat. Bonifacio could be a good fit for the Dodger’s bench. The switch-hitting utility player made his MLB debut at the age of 22 in 2007, and has played with five major league teams, (Arionza, Miami, Nationals, Toronto, and Kansas City), and if he ends up with the Dodgers, it would be his sixth MLB team.
Bonifacio has a career .262/.322/.340 slash line with ten major league home runs in seven major league seasons. While Bonifacio doesn’t have much pop, he excels on the bases. He’s stolen 138 career bags, which include 21 steals in 2009, 40 steals in 2011, and 30 steals in 2012, all with the Marlins. Last season he stole 28 bases as he split the season between Toronto, and Kansas City.
Bonifacio batted just .218 with a .700 OPS and three home runs with Toronto in 94 games, and 282 plate appearances last season. In August he was purchased off of waivers by the Royals, and posted a solid .285/.352/.348 slash line in 42 games, and 179 plate appearances. All total in 2013, Bonifacio batted .243 with a .295 OBP, three home runs, 28 stolen bases in 136 games.
Bonifacio played all over the diamond last year, and has experience at just about every position. He played 59 games for Toronto at second base, 15 games in center field, and 20 games in left field. When he came over to Kansas City he primarily played at second base. He has 165 career games at second base, while playing 134 at third base, and has patrolled all three outfield positions as well.
Defensive metrics rate Bonifacio as a poor defender though. His best position rating is at second base with ten defensive runs saved. At third base he ranks at about league average. He can also play shortstop, as he has 97 career games there.
The Royals have ten days to decide what they want to do with him, and they could either trade or release him. Reports indicate that he will probably be traded.