Sep 15, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio (64) dives back to first safe in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Emilio Bonifacio: Perfect Fit?

Emilio Bonifacio, the fleet-footed former Marlin and Blue Jay, has been designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals now have 10 days to trade him, or he becomes a free agent. How would Bonifacio fit with the Mets?

Let’s start with a simple answer: Very Well. Bonifacio plays the infield and the outfield, and as mentioned earlier, this man can run. Last year with the Blue Jays and Royals, Bonifacio played 90 games at second base, 38 games in the outfield, 6 games at third base, and 1 game at shortstop. Offensively, Bonifacio hit .243 with a .295 OBP. Over his career, Bonifacio is a .262 hitter, with a career OBP of .322. Additionally, Bonifacio has stolen 138 bases in his career, and been caught stealing 36 times, for a success rate of 80%.

So why would he fit well with the Mets? For one reason, the Mets can benefit from an upgrade at the reserve middle infielder position. Right now, the primary candidate on the roster is Omar Quintanilla. Bonifacio brings quite a bit more to the table than does Quintanilla. A second reason why the Mets should consider Bonifacio is his afore-mentioned speed. His ability to run allows him to play the outfield as well as the infield, and possibly steal a key base late in a game (think Dave Roberts in the 2004 ALCS). Third, the Mets have some uncertainty at shortstop. Assuming they do not sign Stephen Drew, Ruben Tejada is slated to begin the season as the starting shortstop. Tejada has, at best, been inconsistent over the last 2 years. Bonifacio would provide depth at the position. While not a natural shortstop, Bonifacio has started 81 games at shortstop over his career. His UZR at shortstop is -6.3.

One factor working against the Mets acquiring Bonifacio is his $3.5 million salary. It’s likely the Royals will be able to trade him before he becomes a free agent, so the new team will have to assume his salary. The cost-conscious Mets may opt for Quntanilla as a less expensive utility infielder option. However, it’s hard to deny the fit between Bonifacio and the Mets. The Mets need a talented, veteran utility infielder, Bonifacio is just that, and even more with his ability to play the outfield. The Mets have little speed outside of Eric Young Junior, and Bonifacio provides speed. All teams need roster flexibility, and Bonifacio can play 6 positions.

Whether or not Bonifacio lands with the Mets will be determined over the next two weeks. If the Mets could trade Lucas Duda or Ike Davis to Kansas City, they’d essentially produce a financial wash. It makes sense to add Bonifacio. We’ll find out if Sandy Alderson sees it that way.


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Tags: Emilio Bonifacio Omar Quintanilla Ruben Tejada

  • Ken Meoni

    I can see what you are saying with Boni. I have to tell you that the Jays (who I am a fan of in the American league) gave him plenty of playing time last year and he really isn’t that good. He appears lazy on most days. When he makes up his mind to play, he looks good as far as his speed goes.

    Still, if they could get rid of Ike, that would be a plus in itself. But, the Mets should also get something else from the Royals in that deal. Maybe a prospect or maybe expand the trade further and include something else to go with Davis. KC has lots of prospects.

    • Rich S

      Interesting, Ken. We don’t need another player with hustle issues. But maybe TC could address that in a way that Gibbons did not. I just think that the fit is very, very strong.

    • Ken Meoni

      You know Rich, you may be right about TC working better with Boni. Gibbons isn’t much of a players manager. I just seem to remember alot of frustration on my part, watching him play last year. He does make the bonehead plays once in a while too. Still, you do present a strong case for picking him up. It’s worth a shot.

    • chums41

      Dear Ken and Rich: Are you two 1) Kidding me, 2)10 years old, 3) Or do you simply know very little about baseball? It’s a horrible fit! Bonifacio is a $500k-$750k talent, at best and how is he an upgrade to Davis? Davis is a very good fielding first baseman, with Duda being a significant fielding downgrade. It is quite possible that Ike might benefit from the improved lineup and if not than the team can address it in June. His improvement translates into HR’s, Bonifacio’s would not. And in spite of Ike’s sub par performance over the past two years, his lifetime OBP is 0.22 higher than Bonifacio’s. While Bonifacio may be able to play multiple positions, he’s mediocre at every single one of them. This makes no sense, it’s not a good fit and you should apologize to me for forcing me to respond to your inane comments!

  • chums41

    He would be an awful choice. $3.5mm for a sub .250 hitter/very average fielder. Why on earth would we sign Bonifacio??? Quintanilla is not our only middle infield sub, we have Satin, Flores and EY Jr. In the OF, we have EY Jr, Andrew Brown, possibly Den Dekker and Duda. One of the serious flaws from the Minaya era was paying a $750k player like Bonifacio for $ 3.5mm. Save the money for a serious player.