Since being designated for assignment when the Royals signed Bruce Chen, we have all been waiting to see what will happen with Emilio Bonifacio. His ability to play multiple positions, and blazing speed, made it seem as though the Royals should be able to get a decent return for his services. Perhaps they could package another salary along with Bonifacio, and free up some money to sign a starter. Instead, the Royals were unable to make a trade, and put him on release waivers.
Now, Bonifacio has landed. According to reports, he has signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, despite receiving major league offers from other interested teams. Bonifacio is invited to the major league portion of Spring Training, and with only Darwin Barney ahead of him on the depth chart, there is a good chance that Bonifacio could end up with significant playing time with the Cubs. He becomes the second Royals player to move on to the Cubs in the past two months. After being designated for assignment on November 21st, George Kottaras was traded to the Cubs for cash five days later.
Emilio Bonifacio could not only provide insurance for the Cubs should Barney struggle yet again in 2014, but he provides the Cubs with a fallback option in other positions as well. The Cubs projected starting outfield of Junior Lake, Justin Ruggiano and Nate Schierholtz is not one that strikes fear into the heart of the opposition. Should Bonifacio make the roster, he would appear to be in line for a solid amount of playing time.
With his versatility and outstanding speed, Emilio Bonifacio is a player that could have helped any number of teams. He would have been able to help the Royals in 2014, for that matter. It is still surprising that instead of receiving something back, the Royals simply ended up releasing him to the open market.