The Kansas City Royals impressed many by getting a lot of things right this offseason. On the first day of February, the team made one of their most puzzling decisions of late. I was elated to write about Bruce Chen re-signing with KC days ago, but bringing him in meant clearing up a spot on the roster. How the Royals chose to do so left many confused.
Emilio Bonifacio, a solid producer and the team’s only seasoned platoon infielder on the roster, was designated for assignment. Keep in mind that this move comes with seven outfielders on the 40-man roster, including the struggling Carlos Peguero and minor-leaguer Lane Adams. Younger brother Jorge Bonifacio could make this loss even more bitter with a rise to the MLB roster in the near future.
Dick Kaegel of Royals beat writing fame explained that there were two major reasons why KC made this move – money now and money later.
The Royals would have owed Emilio $3.5 million for his efforts this season, but now that money will assumedly cover the majority of the new Chen contract for 2014. Also, Bonifacio would have been a free agent after this season, while many other potential utility players are under team control for many more years.
Although it stings to see a guy go who just last year had such a surprisingly positive impact on the team, perhaps now Emilio can turn his 2013 production into a 2014 starting job in another city.
This is possibly the final noteworthy roster move until pitchers and catchers report this Friday, but don’t sleep on Dayton Moore. Ervin Santana‘s still out there, but as much as we all need a little wishful thinking, this team has too much going for it to cling to that slim possibility.
….still, fingers crossed.
Doug LaCerte writes about all three major sports (sorry, hockey) for Rantsports.com. Follow his occasionally neglected Twitter account @DLaC67, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.