6:50pm: Bonifacio’s representatives at CAA tell MLBTR that despite the announcement from Guadalajara, Bonifacio has not signed with the club and remains a free agent.
9:14am: Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, infielder Dawel Lugo and right-hander Justin Grimm are among the former Major Leaguers on the spring roster for the Mexican League’s Guadalajara Mariachis, the team announced this week (Twitter link). Infielders Luis Sardinas and Deven Marrero are on the roster as well, as are pitchers Jason Gurka and Daniel Corcino. All have big league experience, though only Bonifacio, Grimm and Lugo were in the big leagues last season. Five-time MLB All-Star Adrian Gonzalez is also on the roster for the Mariachis, an expansion club in 2021, as was initially reported late last month.
Bonifacio, now 27, looked like a potential option for the Royals in right field back in 2017 when he slugged 17 homers in 113 games as a 24-year-old rookie. He batted .255/.320/.432 that season and was in line for a lengthier audition in 2018 before being hit with an 80-game PED suspension during Spring Training that year. Bonifacio struggled through 270 plate appearances upon returning and was out of the Royals organization a year later. He played in 30 games with the Tigers last season but managed just a .221/.277/.326 slash in 94 trips to the plate.
Grimm was an oft-used and generally successful member of the Cubs’ bullpen from 2014-16, working to a collective 3.36 ERA with a hearty 28 percent strikeout rate against a 10.5 percent walk rate through 171 1/3 innings in that time. He struggled considerably in 2017, however (5.53 ERA in 55 1/3 frames), and has yet to regain his form at the game’s top level. Now 32 years old, Grimm is certainly young enough to make another big league run if he can right the ship pitching with Guadalajara.
Lugo, meanwhile, was the headliner of the prospect package the D-backs sent to the Tigers in exchange for J.D. Martinez back in 2017. The now-26-year-old infielder appeared in the big leagues each season from 2018-20 but didn’t provide much reason for optimism, slashing just .236/.270/.358 in 400 plate appearances.
The 30-year-old Marrero was a first-round pick by the Red Sox in 2012, and while he’s a strong defender he’s never hit much in 163 big league games. Sardinas, 27, was a top prospect back in 2013-14 but hit .224/.274/.292 in 500 big league plate appearances from 2014-18. Gurka and Corcino both briefly reached the Majors between 2014-18, though they have only 40 2/3 total innings combined between them. Corcino does have a 3.97 ERA in his limited time, but he walked nearly as many hitters (13) as he struck out (16) in 22 2/3 innings.
Love seeing international news! Would definitely love a weekly International Ball Update column. Great work here
i dont think Corcino ever got the shot he deserved
There are literally thousands of those in baseball history. I have a few of my ‘faves’, too. But, outside of an exception here or there, baseball people are usually correct in their prospect judgments.
Fever Pitch Guy
I think you’re giving a bit too much credit to baseball people. How do you prove that players who were never given a fair chance wouldn’t have become good MLB players if they had gotten that chance? Piazza was the 1,390th pick in the draft, and the only reason the Dodgers selected him was as a favor by Tommy Lasorda, the godfather of Mike’s brother. A HOF player that likely never would have been drafted.
I’m just glad the comments were left open
Addison Russell is playing in the Mexican League this year. Whoops, that might get the comments closed.
Your Momma. GOO Angels!
A rare article to comment on.
It’s interesting to see Justin Grimm here. Rick Renteria loved to use him in 2014 and I guess that led to every other team in the league think that he was a good reliever because he stayed pitching in the majors for another six years. If you get released by the 2018 Royals it might be time to reconsider your decisions. Good for him that he’s still pushing.
Oh no, Guadalajara won’t do
Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school
Never a bad time for a Steely Dan reference
Dumpster Divin Theo
I assume Gonzalez is kind of doing a retirement tour at home before he is finished for good? I always like that. You see it a lot in hockey.
He’s hoping to play for Mexico in the Olympics. He gets to use the 2021 season as a tune-up for that, and the Mariachis get a big name in the lineup to help attract fans in their expansion year. It’s a nice fit for both sides in that regard.
Thank you for the answer and the information.
and then there’s Jagr, who probably wolnt ever retire.
Guadalajara is one of two new teams in the LMB this year. The Veracruz Eagles are the other. Both were supposed to play inaugural seasons last year, but reasons.
Seems like they’ll be winning a championship in their innagural season then.
Correction: There were no “headliners” in the Tigers end of the JD Martinez deal.
As sad as it sounds, but Lugo was a Diamondbacks top 10 prospect back then, perhaps even one for the Tigers afterwards. He was indeed the headliner of a return that proved very disappointing.
I also signed with them. Guess working in the concession stands isn’t worth a headliner…
Al Avila is giddy at the prospect of trading Matthew Boyd or somebody for 3 of these guys.
Avila had two of them last year
Does anyone know if Chris Carter is still playing down there.
Cap & Crunch
Bonifacio was famous for always having big outta nowhere Opening days
Was a fantasy darling not so long ago as well
How much do these guys get paid in the Mexican leagues? And is that amount in Pecos or dollars?
Dumpster Divin Theo
First year foreign players make between 6000 and 8000 USD a month. They can get to 10000 in the second year.
Also, the following players are rumored to be signing in the immediate future:
Be assured, they will feel right at home…..
Start up the band
What kind of money can guys make down there?
Around 8000/10000 USD a month.
Dumpster Divin Theo
These guys could beat the Os.
“I finally decided I’d rather be a lamppost in America than a general down there.”
~ Rogers Hornsby (After only 9 days as manager of the Vera Cruz Blues)