The Nationals have agreed to a minors deal with utilityman Emilio Bonifacio, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). There’s a Spring Training invite and potential $1MM salary in the pact.
It has been a while since we’ve seen the 11-year MLB veteran in the bigs. The 34-year-old last appeared in 2017 with the Braves. He received only 169 plate appearances over the 2015-17 seasons.
Bonifacio has mostly plied his trade in the upper minors of late. The versatile veteran did have a nice season last year at Triple-A with the Rays organization, slashing .286/.353/.475 (in an offensively charged International League). But he hasn’t exactly been a force in Dominical Winter League action (.267/.384/.350).
It’s possible the Nationals could carry Bonifacio as a final bench piece, though it’s far from assured he’ll end up with a roster spot. He’ll likely compete with Wilmer Difo, Adrian Sanchez, and perhaps others to serve as a shortstop-capable reserve.
I 100% thought he retired in like 2014
WHAT YEAR IS IT?
Feel like this guy should be 42 by now.
Welcome back to the past.
Right. How do you write this up and not mention that he played there before. 2008 was a long time ago.
Nats trying to sign all the mediocre free agents
Bonifacio’s been kind of a player/coach at Durham the past couple of years, so maybe Rizzo (who’s usually ahead of the curve) sees some of those possibilities. Plus an admittedly quick scan of the Nats’ AAA roster doesn’t show a lot of prospects, which means you load up on the AAAA guys. He’s useful in that regard; I think he’s probably done everything but pitch and catch. That can be very helpful when the MLB team calls up half your infield.
Lot of people have a problem with guys like this still playing. Look, it’s a game. Play it as long as you can, especially if you’re being paid to do so. Otherwise, you might be getting paid to do something you hate or not like as much… which is prob 99% of us commenting on this
I totally agree. AAA teams need to fill a roster as well.
Bonafide? Or Bonifacio?!
He’s a Bonafide Bonifacio
I like the signing he can play many positions and isn’t a bad hitter
Wow. Bonifacio back to DC. Some may remember the Nationals received him in the summer of 2008 when they shipped Jon Rauch to the Diamondbacks.
I thought that said the Braves for a second and cried for hours afterwards.
Hahahaha if AA would have signed him in ATL I would have literally driven to ATL to poop outside his office door
Better than Difo!
Frankly I’m surprised he was in the majors as recently as 2017. Seems like he’s been outta baseball at least 5 years. Classic AAAA player in his day. I’m not sure any party here is looking to recapture the magic since there never really was any magic to begin with.