Royals designate Bonifacio for assignment
FEB 01, 2014 2:08p ET
To clear room for Chen on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated infielder Emilio Bonifiacio for assignment. The Royals have 10 days to trade or release Bonifacio, who recently avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
Bonifacio had been acquired by the Royals last August from Toronto, where his playing time had diminished as the season wore on. There had been speculation that Bonifacio was not content with his super-utility role with the Blue Jays.
And Bonifacio's playing time with the Royals likely would have diminished greatly this season.
"Teams will be interested in (Bonifacio)," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "He has a great desire to play.
"He wanted to get a lot of playing time, and with the signing of (Omar) Infante and with the way our roster likely was going to shape up, there was just no guarantee that was going to happen."
There certainly was some question where Bonifacio would fit on the 25-man roster, especially if the Royals carry 12 pitchers, which is likely. Backup outfielders Justin Maxwell and Jarrod Dyson are each out of options and are likely to make the club.
With two catchers, designated hitter Billy Butler, corner infielder Danny Valencia and the four starting infielders, there wouldn't seem room, at least at the beginning of the season, for the Royals to carry a backup middle infielder.
Another factor in Bonifacio's situation is that he will be a free agent after this season. The Royals have control over Valencia, Maxwell and Dyson for several years.
In 42 games with the Royals, Bonifacio hit. 285 with a .352 on-base percentage. He also stole 16 bases in 18 tries.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter @jflanagankc or email email@example.com.