One of the most prized players in baseball is one that can be a super utility guy. A guy that can play anywhere on the diamond and allows teams the luxury of carrying extra pitchers. One of the best utility guys in baseball is Emilio Bonifacio of the Chicago Cubs.
Coming into the season the Cubs signed Bonifacio to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. He was invited to spring training and given an opportunity to win a job with the major league club. After having a stellar spring training, Bonifacio made the team and has since been quite a find. There were reports that the Cubs were going to showcase Bonifacio to teams that were interested prior to the deadline, but the oblique injury that he suffered threw a monkey wrench into that plan.
Although Bonifacio is recently coming off of an injury, the Cubs may still be able to move him. Bonifacio is the classic super utility man. He is capable of playing all outfield positions as well as shortstop, second base, and third base. Not only is Bonifacio very versatile in the field, but he can also bring a team a dimension that they may not have offensively.
Bonifacio has been a great leadoff hitter for the Cubs and has shown what he is capable of when healthy. A switch hitter with very good speed, Bonifacio is currently hitting .264 with 13 stolen bases on the season. To start the season Bonifacio was one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball, and perhaps a trade to a contender would rejuvenate him and bring out the best in him.
Aside from the versatility and speed that Bonifacio can bring a team, his best attribute may be his infectious personality. At 29 years old Bonifacio plays the game as if he were a child and has always been a great clubhouse guy. Although the Cubs have been in the cellar of the National League Central Division, Bonifacio has been able to keep the mood in the clubhouse relatively light and easygoing. This is an intangible that not very many people can bring to possible playoff teams and could be what is needed for certain teams to get over the top.
Personally, I am a fan of Bonifacio and would not mind if the Cubs were to keep him around as he brings a certain sense of veteran leadership that the young Cubs will need in the future. With that being said, trading him away to give him an opportunity to play in a pennant race and gain a prospect in return may be what is best for both sides. Bonifacio is a type of player that is hard to find and could prove to be very valuable to a team in contention. He is currently not doing very much for the Cubs in terms of value to the team with the Cubs being so far out of contention. Whereas a contending team could use his versatility and great clubhouse demeanor.
The return from Bonifacio may not be great in terms of prospects, but what he has taught and showed to the younger Cubs could be return enough.