After the Royals officially announced that they re-signed veteran left-hander Bruce Chen, they curiously added that they designated infielder Emilio Bonifacio for assignment in order to make room for him on the 40-man roster.
I say curious not because I think he’s a solid player, but because the Royals could have non-tendered him long ago, but instead chose to offer him arbitration and subsequently settled with him on a one-year, $3.5 million contract for the 2014 season.
I’ve gotten a couple of emails asking me if I thought the Mets should pursue him as a potential leadoff hitter, and my gut reaction to that is a flat no.
Bonifacio batted .243/.295/.331 in 461 plate appearances last season. He stole 28 bases, but he got caught 8 times.
To put that into perspective, Bonifacio has a lower on-base percentage and is not as fast as Eric Young Jr. and you already know my thoughts on him as a leadoff hitter. If the primary mission of a leadoff hitter is to get on base, both of them are weak options and Bonifacio is as weak as they come. His career .662 OPS tells you all about his lack of offensive ability.
Additionally, Bonifacio would cost even more than Young would – twice as much. Still interested?
Get something straight, Bonifacio is not a shortstop and that’s because he sucked royally at it. He hasn’t played the position regularly since 2011 when he posted an unsightly -.5.7 UZR. And while he’s marginally better in the outfield or second base, he’s still a liability at either or.
Adding to that, the Mets have enough problems as it is trying to sort out their convoluted situation in the outfield where only Curtis Granderson appears to have an everyday job.
Do we really need to add a 10th outfielder into this quandary, especially one who has been cut by two of the worst teams in baseball in the space of six months and one that appears to be the weakest option of the players already on hand and is weak defensively?
Do we really need Bonifacio to backup Murphy at second with Young already on hand? Do we need him on the bench to back up Wright with Satin already in place and infinitely better as well?
That’s what I thought too.
We need to have a higher standard and stop looking at bad players and trying to squeeze them into a lineup that still needs major help.
Bonifacio won’t solve the Royals’ problems or the Marlins’ problems or the Mets’ problems. He’s simply not that good and certainly not worth more than $700K at most to sit on the bench. The problem is he’ll want 3-4 times more than that.