Unable to find an acceptable trade partner after designating him for assignment ten days ago, the Kansas City Royals have placed Emilio Bonifacio on release waivers. Any team can now claim him so long as they are willing to pay his $3.5 Million salary for the 2014 season. MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo first broke the news.
Coming off an overall disappointing 2013 season, the decision to move Bonifacio caused some surprise when the Royals first DFA’d him on February 1st to make room on the 40-man roster for Bruce Chen. Kansas City had just acquired the soon-to-be 29 year old last August, purchasing his rights from the Toronto Blue Jays. Combined between the two teams he’d hit just .243/.295/.331 in 461 PA last year, though he was significantly better with the Royals following the move.
Versatile defensively (he saw time in the outfield and at both second and third base in 2013), there appeared likely to be substantial interest (from both leagues) in Bonifacio at the time the Royals made him available. However, after ten days there doesn’t appear to have been a potential trade to the team’s liking and now they may lose the Dominican Republic native for nothing.
Over the course of his career he’s played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Miami Marlins in addition to the Blue Jays and Royals. Over seven seasons he’s a .262/.322/.340 hitter.
Cotillo also notes that the waiver priority order will follow the reversed standings from 2013. Due to the timing, the in-season rule that would have given American League teams priority does not apply here. Bonifacio will become a free agent if he goes unclaimed in the next 48 hours and will be free to sign anywhere.