Sep 23, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio (64) hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during the 4th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Designating Emilio Bonifacio for Assignment Makes No Sense

Sep 14, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio (64) dives back to first safe in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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  • PhoenixRoyals

    If Bonafacio was unwilling to accept a super-utility role, then I say good move. Plenty of players (Gio, Colon, Ciracio) would do whatever it takes to make the big leagues. And now the Royals can keep both Dyson and Maxwell.

  • Chad Woelk

    Do you really expect anything else from Dayton Moore. Some of the moves he makes result in major head scratching. Although he made some great moves by acquiring Aoki and signing Infante, I am still so confused on why he would sign Jason Vargas to a 4 year deal so early in free agency. He could of traded Wade Davis and Bonafacio and never signed Vargas and had the money to sign Santana or Jimenez.

  • jimfetterolf

    So far, the Dodgers, Yankees, and maybe the Mets have been mentioned as interested in Bonifacio, so we’ll see who offers the most for him. It’s been suggested that Colon is near ready for the UIF role, so Bonifacio and Ciriaco would both be needed to move soon. In that case it’s just a matter of trying to get value from Bonifacio before rosters are set. Ciriaco will then be DFA’ed when Colon, a better infielder than Boni, is ready. Only thing that makes sense to me. Maybe Boni gets packaged with Maxwell and a relief pitcher or two in a bigger deal.

    • unclejesse40

      Jim, I am going to hold off judgment until this whole thing shakes out. The package deal you mentioned was something I hadn’t thought of and if that happens and we get a nice piece to add to this puzzle then way to go GMDM. If nothing happens and this was just a way to shed 3 million from the payroll, then I will be upset.

      • jimfetterolf

        Just a surprise, kind of liked Boni for the role, if he would be happy in it. The DFA makes no sense if we were sure of getting 2011/2nd half ’13-Bonifacio, makes more sense if Royals thought they just got lucky with Bonifacio and could sell high or if he hated the bench like Aviles did. Is kinda nice that the greatest drama is over a UIF :) We’ll probably have more of this, too many OFs and maybe RPs, poor minor league depth in some positions.

  • Dave Lowe

    Makes perfect sense to me, David. Emilio would have been a stewing cancer sitting on the bench. It’s well known that he was unhappy with not being a starter in Florida and Toronto. Dayton Moore and the Royals don’t want that type of player on the team destroying chemistry.

    Hopefully it doesn’t run in the family and his brother Jorge will be an asset to the team in the future.

    • Dave Hill

      I figured that having his brother around would have kept that in check.

  • moretrouble

    In defense of the front office, I’m not sure I ever heard Dayton say that Bonifacio would become the super-utility player. Maybe he did, but I suspect this idea came from bloggers and fans — and, heck, even I bought into it. It’s logical — the roster sets up great with Boni in that role and we fans and bloggers went about our merry way figuring out how Dayton would build his roster.

    And, now, we know that wasn’t Dayton’s plan. Or, maybe as some have suggested, it was his plan, but Bonifacio rejected it and the front office moved on. I’m not sure which — but, wow, were we wrong or what?