Bonifacio was designated for assignment when the Royals re-signed Bruce Chen, and has since been given unconditional release waivers by the club. At 2:00PM EST on Wednesday, should no team claim the 28-year old, he will become a free agent. It is unlikely that any team will claim him before the deadline; the team that signs him would be on the hook for Bonifacio’s 2014 salary of $3.5 million, whereas they would be able to sign a brand new contract for the infielder after the deadline. The Royals would have to pay a termination salary (approximately $575,000) to Bonifacio if no team claims him.
Bonifacio’s release comes as a bit of surprise to media members, as he appeared to be a huge asset for the team down the stretch after being acquired from Toronto. During his 42 games with Kansas City, Bonifacio slashed .285/.352/.348, seeing time at second and third base.
The Orioles are rumored to be one of the teams with strong interest in Emilio, who should find a home by the end of the week. Bonifacio not only would provide bench depth, but would be valuable insurance at third if Manny Machado experiences problems coming back from reconstructive knee surgery.