Last Tuesday the Chicago White Sox activated Emilio Bonifacio from the 15-day disabled list and immediately designated him for assignment. Once Bonifacio cleared waivers, he was released. On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs signed him to a Minor League deal.
Bonifacio, 30, can best be described as a journeyman ballplayer. He’s appeared in games for eight different clubs since his Major League debut near the end of 2007. A switch-hitting utility player, he made the Cubs’ roster once already due to an exceptional Spring Training performance in 2014. He was traded away to the Atlanta Braves that same season an was signed by the White Sox in 2015, making their Major League Opening Day roster.
This season hasn’t been the best for Bonifacio as he’s slashing .167/.198/.192 in 78 at bats. He’s only tallied two extra base hits compared to 27 strikeouts.
With some injuries and productivity plaguing the Cubs middle infield this season, Bonifacio is a good insurance policy for a possible postseason run, and as he was signed to a Minor League deal, a couple Triple-A plate appearances couldn’t hurt at this point.
Bonifacio had a great season for the Kansas City Royals in 2013 which led to his Spring Training shot for the Cubs in 2014. He was stellar that preseason which lead to a great 2014 campaign, hitting over .400 for the first 10 games of the season and not falling below a .350 batting average until game number 21. His time ended in Chicago that season right before the trade deadline and finished his “Cubs Season” clubbing slash line of .279/.318/.373.
The point of bringing up these stats is that even though he’s been in a funk this season while playing on Chicago’s South side, the Cubs know what can do. He can heat up, play multiple positions, and be a very good base runner as he’s racked up an impressive 165 stolen bases in his career. What seems like an unimpressive signing could actually pay off big as the Cubs look to make their playoff return. To be eligible for the postseason roster, Bonifacio will need to be called up before September 1.