When the Royals signed Bruce Chen, everyone knew that there would be a corresponding roster move that would need to be made. Someone from the 40 man roster would need to be designated for assignment. In all likelihood, it was expected that the player designated would be one of the Royals surplus of fourth outfielders, because there just does not seem to be a need to have four or five fourth outfielders vying for a roster spot. Instead, that player to be designated for assignment was Emilio Bonifacio.
Bonifacio, while he may not be an everyday player, certainly has his uses. He can play virtually everywhere on the diamond, and gave the Royals a viable backup plan at all three outfield positions and around the infield. As a speed option off the bench, and as someone who could start four or five times a week at different positions, Bonifacio is a valuable bench player. In fact, it would seem that the only way he could be more valuable would be if Bonifacio was able to catch as well.
This move furthers what has been an odd few days for Dayton Moore. After spending most of the offseason making what appeared to be sound, logical moves, the last few days would seem to be anything but. Carlos Peguero may have made sense in a vacuum as a project as a power hitter, but he is an additional fourth outfielder type. Chen made more sense, but when it was announced that he will seemingly be given a spot in the rotation, the move became a bit more perplexing.
With a likely trade forthcoming, the battle for the utility infielder spot is likely going to be between Pedro Ciriaco and Christian Colon. Ciriaco is essentially Bonifacio Lite – almost the same player, but not quite as good. Although Ciriaco is out of options, it would have made more sense to designate Ciriaco instead of Bonifacio – at least there was a chance that Ciriaco could get through waivers.
For a team that looking to win, designating a player such as Emilio Bonifacio for assignment makes no sense. Removing B0nifacio from the roster simply does not make the Royals a better team. While sending Bonifacio away does free up some money for the Royals, that really does not help. Unless this leads to a bigger move, there is almost no way to defend designating Bonifacio.