White Sox: Emilio Bonifacio brings speed and depth to roster


Aug 3, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves infileder Emilio Bonifacio follows through during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox signing of Emilio Bonifacio gives the roster something it lacked: speed and depth in a utility player.

Bonifacio is said to have signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the White Sox, and I believe this is yet another good signing by the White Sox.

I love the fact he can play in the infield and outfield, and this signing still gives the White Sox the opportunity to groom either Micah Johnson or Carlos Sanchez on the MLB roster at second base this season, while adding the veteran Bonifacio as well.

Last season, Bonifacio played for the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves where he played in 110 games, batting .259 with an on-base percentage of .305 and slugging percentage of .345. He also has 26 stolen bases (was caught stealing eight times) and even had three home runs and 24 RBIs.

Jul 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Emilio Bonifacio (64) lays down a sacrifice bunt against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

With the Cubs in ’14, Bonifacio’s WAR (wins above replacement) was 1.4 (69 games), and with the Braves (41 games) it was -0.4. His combined WAR since ’07 is 5.6.

Also in ’14, Bonifacio played games at centerfield, second base, third base, shortstop, right field, left field and was even a designated hitter one game.

Since entering the majors in ’07, Bonifacio has also played for the Florida (now Miami) Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals and the Toronto Blue Jays.

In an article on CSN Chicago, it says:

"“Bonifacio can play all over the diamond, playing at least 100 games in center field, second base, third base and shortstop. Bonifacio’s deal with the White Sox reportedly has a club option for the 2016 season.”"

Bonifacio, who is still just 30 years old, can also help groom either Sanchez or Johnson in ’15, all the while providing some veteran leadership this team lost from last season.

Last week, we wrote about Bonifacio at Southside Showdown. Staff writer Brian Draus wrote the following in an article:

"“Bonifacio would also be a good option as a pinch runner due to his speed (he has 164 stolen bases since he entered MLB in 2007) … In a perfect world, Bonifacio is a super-utility man, which is what the White Sox would use him for, assuming they signed him.”"

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I agree with that above statement, and I would love to see Bonifacio come off the bench as a pinch hitter or pinch runner, or even as a defensive replacement, because the White Sox lacked a player like that last season.

Here are a couple tweets from the Chicago media on the signing:

Now as we get even closer to spring training, the roster the White Sox have assembled looks to be strong with a mix of veterans and young players with potential.

Though this isn’t a “blockbuster” deal, it is still a deal that brings a lot to the White Sox in ’15, and sometimes this season during the late innings, this team will look like a steal when Bonifacio comes up big in some ways when the White Sox need him to produce.