Yankees Free Agent Target: Emilio Bonifacio
The Yankees made a serious move this season, acquiring Martin Prado at the trade deadline. He can play multiple positions and is under team control through the 2016 season. Now, the Yankees have a chance to grab one more player who can do everything but pitch and catch: Emilio Bonifacio.
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Bonifacio is a bit of a journeyman, playing for seven teams in the last seven years. His only real home was with the Miami Marlins, where he spent three and a half seasons. In his time there, Bonifacio hit .271/7/84 in 416 games. His real value comes with his speed. He had over 100 stolen bases with Miami, including 40 in 2011. In addition to his speed on the bases, he can play nearly every position on the diamond. Though he was with the Atlanta Braves for just 41 games this season, he played left field, center field, right field, second base, and shortstop. With a team injured as often as the Yankees, having both Prado and Bonifacio on the squad will open up a lot of options.
Emilio Bonifacio will never be the player that Prado is. Prado is a career .291 hitter that can hit homeruns from time to time. He hit seven with the Yankees in just 37 games. While Prado hitting 15 home runs next year would be nice but not totally unexpected, Bonifacio is good for about three home runs a year. They are both versatile in the field. Prado can hit doubles and homers. Bonifacio can hit singles and steal.
Signing Bonifacio won’t be all that difficult. One year at $3 million dollars is pretty close to the top of what he would get from any team. He will be 30 at the end of April, still giving him a few years before his speed starts to greatly decline. Additionally, Bonifacio is a switch hitter. That gives Joe Girardi more flexibility off the bench.
Signing Emilio Bonifacio won’t get the New York Post riled up, but he’s a player that will add value off the bench and in the field when needed. With a team that has multiple contracts over $20 million dollars, Bonifacio is the kind of player who could actually give “value” compared to what he is paid. Two or three million dollars for a player that can play all positions and steal bases is well worth the investment.