contractAccording to multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs have signed utility man Emilio Bonifacio to a minor league deal. I know I frequently fawn over minor league deals (because of their no-risk nature, not because I think they’ll all pan out into something useful), but this is just fantastic, if true. We’ll wait for the Cubs to confirm, however. (UPDATE: They’ve confirmed. Neat.)

Bonifacio, 28, was recently a surprise DFA and release by the Royals after agreeing to a $3.5 million deal for 2014, his final year of arbitration. When he became available for any team to grab, I endorsed the Cubs going after him, which would have meant the Cubs picking up the full contract. The Cubs were able to get him on a minor league deal, which I guess that makes me one part smart and one part dopey.

On a minor league deal, though, you can be assured of a couple things: (1) it’ll almost certainly be a split deal where he makes a minor league salary when in the minors, and a big league salary (higher than the Major League minimum) when he’s at the big league level (I’m assuming, by the way, that when he was released by the Royals, he received termination pay, rather than his full contract because he was an arb guy); and (2) he’ll probably have an opt-out date if he hasn’t been called up, and it could be pretty early in the year. In other words, my guess is that the Cubs got Bonifacio on a deal that allows them to not have to give up a 40-man spot just yet, pays Bonifacio reasonably well if he makes the team, and allows him to easily go elsewhere if he doesn’t make the team.

A little background on Bonifacio and his potential value to the Cubs:

And, for the record, Bonifacio could theoretically help the Cubs, too. Let’s imagine that Mike Olt does not win the third base job, and Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy are set to platoon there. That would leave an open infield gig on the bench, which could be filled by a minor league deal/non-roster invitee type, by Logan Watkins, or by someone like Bonifacio. Just two years ago, Bonifacio was a 2.8 win player for the Marlins, and put up a .296/.360/.393 line (albeit with a BABIP about 40 points higher than his career average). He was fairly meh in 2012 and 2013 (though he did tick up after a trade to the Royals halfway through 2013).

But little of Bonifacio’s value is going to come from his bat. Bonifacio is a true utility player, who can literally play anywhere on the field besides pitcher and catcher (though he hasn’t had occasion to play first base, he certainly could). That kind of versatility deepens a bench, which could be a further bonus on a team like the Cubs, which is looking to carry as many fringy, try-them-out-and-see-what-happens type players (particularly in the outfield) as possible. Bonifacio also runs the bases particularly well.

Bonifacio, a switch-hitter, is a borderline starting-caliber second baseman, who was a fantastic starting second baseman for a year and a half out of the last three years. (To be quite fair, though, for his career, he’s hit just .262/.322/.340, so he’s not a world-beater.)

Bringing in Bonifacio accomplishes many things:

1.) Provides a quality bench option with excellent versatility and speed;

2.) Provides big league-caliber depth behind Darwin Barney, besides Logan Watkins and Ryan Roberts (or Luis Valbuena/Donnie Murphy when they aren’t starting);

3.) Provides legitimate competition for the starting second base job, though Barney remains the presumptive starter;

4.) Provides cover if the Cubs should try to move Barney in the near-term;

5.) Provides a buffer if there are injuries in the infield and the Cubs don’t want to be forced to rush someone like Javier Baez or Arismendy Alcantara; and

6.) Provides the Cubs with another piece that could accumulate trade value by the Trade Deadline.

On that last one, Bonifacio is definitely better than your typical minor league signing, and, with some past success in the big leagues and a quality first half, he really could be of value to teams in contention looking for infield depth or looking for an emergency injury replacement.

This is about as good as minor league signings get. (UPDATE: And Jon Heyman drives the point home – Bonifacio took the Cubs’ minor league deal over Major League deals elsewhere.)

  • Idaho Razorback

    Great all around deal.

    • JadeBos

      Bonifacio can play any position and is about an 80% base stealer. And lets not forget Bonifacio’s career OPS spilt vs righties is about 50 points better than Barneys.

      I’d be surprised if he isn’t with the big club opening day. Hes a great 25th guy.

  • another JP

    As a minor league deal it’s an excellent acquisition- still amazed the guy was getting $3.5M from the Royals.

  • Funn Dave

    “just fantastic” yup that pretty much sums it up.

  • Jon

    I don’t like this move for a couple of reasons…

    • Ron Swansons Mustache

      Can’t wait to hear these….

    • Jason P


    • CubFanBob

      jon is still upset brent lillibridge isn’t on the roster.

      Fact that we gave up nothing for him when there was a demand is a win / win.

  • aaronb

    I like the move. No apparent downside. Should probably start ahead of Darwin Barney.

    • Jon

      First off, does he make the Cubs contended in 2014? No. So ask yourself this, would you rather lose 98 games ? or 99?

      Second, with 2014 being “punted” should all excess cash, no matter how small, be rolled over into an escrow for a “theoretical” FA in 2015 that we probably won’t sign?

      • aaronb

        My guess is the money is minuscule. And he’s young enough that he might be a viable Cub beyond 2014.

        Or he sucks and they release him and move on. No harm no foul.

      • Jason P

        I would rather lose 98.

        • brianham10

          Best comment so far… made me chuckle.

        • Tommy

          LOL, that was funny Jason P. Nice.

      • baldtaxguy

        Both points are very immaterial and not a platform to be overall con to this move.

      • Matt

        Based on the first reason I assume the Cubs shouldn’t sign anyone ever since there is no single player that can make the Cubs contend in 2014.

        Second point, it’s not a huge amount of cash, and if the Cubs decide to not go with him they can just put him on waivers before the season starts and someone else picks him up.

        • frank

          Or dump everyone they now have because God knows none of them have brought the team close to contending . . .

    • CubChymyst

      Agree, I like the move.

  • TommyK

    For what it’s worth (probably not much), Bonifacio is known in fantasy baseball circles as the poster boy for bad hitters who trick you into thinking they are good by getting off to a hot start. The ESPN Fantasy Baseball podcast used to play a game called “Bonafide or Bonifacio?” in which they would name a player who was hitting well as of late and give their opinion of whether they were bonafide (a legitimately good hitter breaking out) or Bonifacio (a bad hitter on a deceptive hot streak.)

    • Kyle

      He is a pretty bad hitter. But there aren’t many backup middle infielders who aren’t these days, and quite a few starters who are as well.

  • dunston donuts

    If he can keep his walk percentage over 9% as he did last year with the Royals and in his last couple years with Miami this could be a really good signing. However, his BABIP of .369 last year with the Royals is not likely to repeat. Great signing to see what type of player he is going to be in 2014.

  • Matty V

    I’m curious why he preferred the Cubs minor league offer to the other major league ones he received.

    • aaronb

      My guess is that he sees it as the easiest path for playing time. He’s playing for his next contract.

    • Brocktoon

      I’m assuming the Cubs basically told him he’d be on the 25 man, they just want to bide some time to clear a 40 man spot.

  • Javier Bryant

    I’d rather see Bonifacio than Donnie Baseball and probably over Barney in a way. Let’s see if they deal Barney within the next few months.

  • waffle

    Jon, that was tiresome even by your standards

  • cavemancubbie

    Why is it that ‘Sonny and Cher’ come to mind when I see this guy’s name? Old age, I guess.

  • Assman22

    Brett, your writing gets better everyday…this piece was one of the best I’ve seen you write yet…Cubs FO liked Bonafacio’s utility offerings defensively…will allow team to carry an extra bullpen arm…crowded bullpen will be relied upon greatly due to lack of SP’s able to go deep in games…Veras, Strop, Russell, Wright are locks…Cabrera is out of options too btw…

    • Jason P

      I hadn’t thought of that. This could be one way to squeeze an extra bullpen arm into the mix — maybe the difference between losing or keeping Alberto Cabrera.

      • augiepb

        I agree. Also, assuming Arrieta is out for a few weeks into the season it allows them a little more time to figure out who that last bullpen arm would be. Give the last 3-4 guys in the pen a few MLB looks and be able to make their decision from there.

        • Jason P

          Very true. And of course, injuries are always a possibility.

          Watkins and Bonifcaio are very similar players, so I think this move could be followed by a Watkins option to AAA or DFA.

          • JadeBos

            Yeah Watkins is a good comp to Bona. Only a touch slower, not much, and a true lefty bat wereas Bona is a RH switch. They both have OF experience and both mainly 2B in the minors.

            I’d see em using Bona best they can to maximize his numbers and value and adding him in a deadline deal. I’d hate to see Watkins go. He had a Alcantara like 12 at AA only a little less pop and a little more OB skill.

    • Ivy Walls

      So could Cubs go with 5 starters (with a direct commuter flight to Des Moines or points along the PCL) and then 8 relievers? That means twelve position players, meaning minus 2 catchers, and a 1B and SS; that leaves 8 others in platoon roles:

      4 other OF’ers (Sweeney, Lake, Ruggiano plus Schierholtz), the first three can play all OF positions,

      4 IF’ers; (Valbuena, Barney, Murphy plus Bonifacio who can also play OF), the bench then is short; one OF’er and 2 IF’ers and a catcher, of course we do have Wood PH off the bench.

      • Ivy Walls

        One more thought, if, IF, IF Olt makes the team than in this set up Barney is definitely moved, where Valbuena/Murphy or Bonifacio move to 2B, more offense, plus the maintaining of LH bats in the lineup.

    • Brett

      Well thanks, Assman.

  • Jason P

    Where at AAA is he going to play?

    1B – Olt
    2B – Alcantara
    SS – Baez
    3B – Villanueva
    LF – Vitters
    CF – Szczur
    RF – Silva/Jackson/Andreoli

    If Olt makes the team, we have Lars Anderson at first. We also have OF Chris Coghlan, OF Casper Wells, OF Ryan Kalish, 2B Ryan Roberts, OF Aaron Cunningham, SS Walter Ibarra, 2B Jeudy Valdez, OF Darnell Mcdonald, and 2B Chris Valika.

    You can always cut some of the veteran fillers after Spring training, but still, it’s crowded.

  • Ivy Walls

    Darwin should be calling Mayflower for packing boxes. This one is obvious, Bonifacio is now cheaper than Darwin, a switch hitter who can play the OF.

    Cubs can now go forth with 5 platoon OF’ers and 4 platoon IF’ers plus Castro and Rizzo

    If Olt sticks (which will be another form of sign and trade with better 3B options ascending later), Roster could be barring some major trade in ST,

    OF; Sweeney, Schierholtz, Lake, Ruggiano, Kalish or plus S/H or RH pick up
    IF: Rizzo, Castro, Bonifacio, Olt, Valbuena, Murphy, Roberts,
    C Castillo, Kottaras

    Renteria will have to develop an ongoing lineup based on match ups and hot hands, though there will be a lot of distributed playing time. I would like to even see Olt play some 1B or even better find a OF/1B RH hitter to give Rizzo some days off from tough LHP’ers and be the PH/RH bat off the bench who can play adequate OF defense.

    But all this is a holding pattern until the system begins to bring up their position players beginning with Alcantara then Baez.

  • Kyle

    I’m a lot happier with the infield depth now.

    If he’s been promised a spot as suspected, then it’s looking like Valbuena/Castro/Barney/Rizzo with Murphy and Bonifacio on the bench, Watkins optioned, and Roberts either at Iowa or electing FA, depending on his desires and if the team has a spot at Iowa for him.

    Cubs continue to act like a team that has no plans for Mike Olt.

    • bbmoney

      Which is a good thing right?

      I mean you wouldn’t want to plan on Olt at this point. If his problem is fixed and he’s legit again…happy bonus and something that you can deal with when you get there.

      • Kyle

        I think it says more that they aren’t particularly confident in his ability to show up fixed.

        • Joshua Edwards

          That’s possible (but it’s conjecture). Assuming the Cubs agree though, and they aren’t putting Baez or Bryant at 3b right now, what are the options? Platoon? Stopgap/bridge player? The more options the better, right?

          • Kyle

            They already said they expect 3b to be a platoon of Valbuena/Murphy.

            • Joshua Edwards

              Right, I know, I’m just glad they aren’t banking on that platoon (even if it wasn’t all that bad last year). And I agree with you that the IF depth is better now.

              I do like that the FO is trying to find more options, even if it involves scraping the bottom of the barrel.

              This doesn’t mean I think any combination of Valb/Murph/Olt/Boni will run away with the 3B job. But sadly, I don’t think there are better moves available. If there were better options being ignored I’d be more frustrated.

            • Voice of Reason

              They said that they expect s 3b platoon of valbuena and Murphy and they also said they expect to complete.

              Obviously both statements are subject to change when the team destiny is another 90+ losses.

        • Luke

          What reason do they have to be confident? He hasn’t faced live pitching since the latest treatment for his eye issues.

          I suspect they are handling Olt like a pitcher coming of shoulder surgery. Not something to count on, definitely not someone you plan on succeeding, but if they prove you wrong and are able to take a job then you happily adjust course.

          Seems like a fairly reasonable way to approach the situation.

          • Kyle

            Well, that’s true of literally anyone in camp who isn’t a presumed starter. You hope they prove you wrong and become awesome, sure.

            • Brett

              Yes, and?

              Why would the Cubs make moves around an expectation that Olt will make the team? You didn’t really address that part.

              • Kyle

                If they expected him to have a serious chance of making the team, it would be smart to act accordingly and not play some pretend games where you allocate resources as if your assessment were different from what it were.

                It’s like dealing with conspiracy theorists. The more the Cubs act as if Olt is a non-entity, the more people become convinced that they are just doing that to protect him from pressure and not just acting that way because the believe it.

                • Brett

                  “If they expected him to have a serious chance of making the team, it would be smart to act accordingly and not play some pretend games where you allocate resources as if your assessment were different from what it were.”

                  I must have missed all of the resources they were devoting to pieces that otherwise fill the job Olt would take. In other words, they’ve done nothing inconsistent with Olt winning the 3B job if he surprises folks and does just that. They have like, a whopping $2.5 million committed between three guys that would probably make the team anyway.

                  So, I’m still landing on … what in the world are you talking about?

                  • Kyle

                    “I must have missed all of the resources they were devoting to pieces that otherwise fill the job Olt would take.”

                    If Olt wins the job, Valbuena (or Barney, I guess) moves down to reserve infielder, meaning you probably can’t sell a guy like Bonifacio on coming here for a reserve infield job that isn’t open.

                    • Brett

                      That assumes all of Murphy, Valbuena, and Barney stay if Olt wins the job. Why would you assume that?

                    • Kyle

                      Why *wouldn’t* I assume that? Two of them are clearly superior players to Bonifacio and the third got a major-league deal.

                      You can throw some doubt in there, sure. Anything is possible. But looking at the whole picture, the best fit to the facts continues to be the Cubs thinking Olt is toast, not holding open a job for him like many fans seem to expect.

                    • bbmoney

                      I think there’s a lot of room between thinking a guy is toast and holding open a job for him.

                      I understand that we could try to read something about Olt into this move, I just think it’s a huge stretch, especially since it’s a minor league deal.

                    • Luke

                      I’m still lost.

                      It sounds like you’re arguing that the logical conclusion from signing Bonifacio is that the team has little hope for and/or has completely given up on Olt.

                      I’m not seeing it.

                      Olt’s one option that has some risk attached, so they are making sure they have other options. If that means they cut someone at the end of the spring, they cut someone at the end of the spring.

                      I’m not following the ‘a team that has no plans for Mike Olt’ thought process at all.

                  • Kyle

                    I’m saying that the way they are addressing the infield is not consistent with the way they would address the infield if they thought Olt’s odds of making the team were notable. Bonifacio is just another data point in that string.

                    • Luke

                      Why would they plan on the assumption Olt will make the team in the spring? Once again, they haven’t seen him face real pitching since the latest eye treatment.

                      From everything I’ve read, the plan for Olt is to see how he looks in the spring, and then probably send him to Iowa to get established if he’s back to his old self.

                      Nothing about the Bonifacio deal changes that. And that is a very, very, long ways away from the Cubs ‘having no plans for Mike Olt.’

                    • Kyle

                      Why wouldn’t they assess the odds of it happening and act accordingly?

                      It doesn’t have to be a binary “we expect him to make the team” or “we don’t.”

                    • Kyle

                      “From everything I’ve read, the plan for Olt is to see how he looks in the spring, and then probably send him to Iowa to get established if he’s back to his old self.

                      But yes, that’s the plan. Meanwhile, 80% of projected rosters put out by Cubs fans have him starting at 3b. That’s what I’m getting at.

                    • Luke

                      So let me get this straight.

                      When you said:
                      “Cubs continue to act like a team that has no plans for Mike Olt.”

                      What you meant was:
                      “This move doesn’t impact at all the plan that the Cubs appear to have in place for Mike Olt, mainly to see how he looks in the spring and then send him to Iowa if he needs additional seasoning. However, it does lend support to the argument that the Cubs are not in fact banking on Olt as their third baseman at the start of spring training, despite the lineup projections of many fans.”

                    • Kyle

                      More or less, yes.

                    • baldtaxguy

                      Maybe the BN Payroll needs a comment interpreter?

                    • When The Musics Over

                      First an arbiter (Patrick), and now an interpreter.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I think I can do both. I did solve a Diehard riddle recently.

          • Ron

            “But yes, that’s the plan. Meanwhile, 80% of projected rosters put out by Cubs fans have him starting at 3b. That’s what I’m getting at.”

            So you are mad at fans and not the front office?

            • Kyle

              Well, I’m always mad at the front office, but not specifically about this, no. Nobody was ever arguing whether they were doing something right or wrong, we are arguing over how to interpret what they are doing to project what they intend to do.

              • Ron

                I actually think the FO showed that they don’t want another Ian Stewart situation. Olt is a wild card, and the 3rd base platoon probably over performed a bit last year, just more depth. In retrospect I think most fans had Stewart penciled in also.

                • baldtaxguy

                  I haven’t seen Olt penciled in in any way like Stewart was. I’m speaking about the FO. Olt = Iowa has always been the story

                  • Ron

                    I agree, I was thinking/hoping they learned something from that fiasco though.

    • Joshua Edwards

      So this is a small move but it’s what good organizations do. Every little bit helps, and especially when it doesn’t hurt you. I think the Cubs are acting like a team that recognizes that nothing can be taken for granted.

      Someone will disappoint, or get hurt, and the team needs depth in case it does. Beyond that, if someone gets hot or surprises with good performance (even if only temporarily), there’s real value there.

      So I agree that these low-risk depth signings hurt no one at this stage of the rebuild. Cubs’ young players have time to work in the minors, the current starters have to fight to keep the job, and if someone goes down (or comes up and proves they should be the starter) there are options for trades, moves, etc.

      I mean, if I’m Darwin Barney I’m reading the writing on the wall and I’m positively terrified about holding back the flood of players vying for an IF spot. Ultimately, that’s a good thing for the Cubs.

      • Kyle

        Well, it’s also what bad organizations do. Picking up extra 2b was known as the Jim Hendry Maneuver.

        • Joshua Edwards

          Plenty of bad organizations have counted on Emilio as a starter, too. Cubs aren’t doing that here.

          Besides, I dunno where are all the available great players are that the Cubs could get instead. If there are better alternatives perhaps we should get on Twitter let Jed and Theo know about it…I’m sure they’re waiting to hear from us :)

        • Ivy Walls

          Not sure that picking up a utility player to a minor league contract is what losing teams do, but I will say thinking that a player who batted just above the Mendoza line who is a defensive player as a starter and not a utility player until someone better emerges is what a losing team does.

          Yes this roster is made up of platoon, bridge or even stopgap players until better options emerge, this defines a losing MLB club

    • cubs2003

      I agree regarding Olt and I don’t think Barney should be too comfortable either. I’m guessing the FO sees Olt as a total wild card and Barney needs to improve his offense to stay a starter. There looks to be a lot of competition for 2B and 3B this year.

    • Voice of Reason


      Its hilarious you are happy with the infield depth.

      Out of all the bums we have besides Castro and rizzo who, dare I ask, are you happy with? Hell, I’ll accept infield starters, too.

      • Kyle

        Murphy/Watkins/Roberts/Bonifacio is a perfectly acceptable pool from which to pick a pair of backup infielders.

    • J. L.

      Can anyone explain to me why Donnie Murphy seems to have already locked a spot on the roster for himself this season? Is it really just because of the 11 home runs in 163 plate appearances last year? While that is impressive, I think it’s at least as impressive that that number amounts to 38% of his career (803 PAs) home runs.

      • Kyle

        They just seem to like him. Otherwise they would have non-tendered him. I don’t see it, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

      • Jason P

        Because who else? Chris Valika?

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  • Rich H

    I wonder if this is not a shot across the bow of McDonald, Murphy and the other could be’s that are occupying space at the end of the 40 man. The idea of any of those guys still being on the roster when Baez, Alancarta or even Villuneva is ready kind of disturbing. But for some reason Borbon keep popping into my head when I think of what this means for Chicago this year.

  • woody

    How does this affect Christian Villanueva? I don’t know if Bryant is going to start in Daytona or Tennessee? But let’s say Bryant is at AA and Olt doesn’t make the team. Then who starts at Iowa.

    • Luke

      Olt doesn’t need to play third base everyday (despite any front office comments indicating he will). His bat is in question, not his glove.

      The Cubs could put Olt at 1B, or even DH if need be. Villanueva could do the same (his glove really isn’t in question either, although I think he could use more reps).

      More likely, I think, is that we will see some players splitting time.

      Anderson: 1B, DH
      Olt: 3B, 1B, DH
      Villanueva: 3B, 2B, maybe some 1B and DH
      Alcantara: 2B, CF, maybe SS on occasion if Baez needs a day off.

      • Jason P

        Don’t you think the Cubs would just release Anderson if Olt doesn’t win the ML job? It seems counter-productive to have a minor league filler stealing at bats from legitimate prospects.

    • Assman22

      From my understanding, Bryant is starting at AA…Almora/Soler will begin in Daytona…Baez/Alcantara in Iowa…IIRC and FWIW Olt played LF with Texas a bit…projects better with his bat in OF more than 1B…Villanueva needs to learn how to hit lefties…I’d really like to see Alcantara moved to CF…

      • Kyle

        Injuries or not, Soler starting 2014 in A+ is not at all what we envisioned when he was signed.

        • woody

          I was hoping that he and Almora would start at AA considering that they played well in the AFL. But then thats where they were when they were injured.

          • Luke

            Almora was injured in Kane County. Daytona would be a promotion for him.

        • Assman22

          If all goes accordingly…Almora/Soler head up to Tennessee for the 2nd half…keep those two together as long as possible…Bryant to Iowa after a few months…Baez/Alcantara could get a cup of coffee in September…Daytona will also feature Candyman, Vogey, Shoulders, and Amaya…Shoulders originally drafted by Theo in 2010 fyi…

          • spearman

            So as the progression follows, We should really start seeing a better product by 2016. Maybe better by 2015 when Baez/ Alcantara show up.
            It just gives more of a perspective. I wish we could do well earlier, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

        • Luke

          We didn’t imagine him losing most of his first full season in the minors to injury, either.

          • Assman22

            Exactly…Almora’s been a huge benefactor with Soler’s adaptation to U.S. culture/baseball…fate put them together and kept them together…could be blessing in disguise, especially for Soler…they feed off each other…could also see Bryant and Baez push each other in Iowa later this season…

        • roz

          Wait, so they fact that he was injured and only got 237 PA’s in 2013 doesn’t matter to you, and you’re going to use the fact that he’ll be starting 2014 in A+ to shit on him? Yeah that makes sense.

          • Kyle

            Injury time is still lost time in a prospect’s development. You can’t just make it up later, it’s still getting older without getting better.

            • Assman22

              Yes, they both could’ve made more progress had they not been injured…now they’re both together in Daytona going forward…if either gets injured again this season for a prolong period of time, they will undoubtedly get labeled by Cub Nation as injury-proned and only preventing their progress…TBH from what I’ve been told, Almora/Soler will progress together accordingly…I still have Soler ranked highest among the Big Four as likeliest to flame-out, while I have Almora likeliest to stick in MLB for long-term…Soler needs Almora to advance throughout the minors…only time will tell now…

            • Jason P

              But it’s still not the end of the world. It’s not like Soler’s 24 and still in short season ball (like Hannemann).

              If he makes his debut as a 23 year old instead of a 22 year old, so be it. He still has time on his side. 22 years old is an appropriate age for High-A.

              • Luke

                Hannemann, barring injury, won’t be in short season ball this year. I suspect the Cubs will push him to High A fairly quickly.

                • Assman22

                  Agreed…Hanneman will likely leapfrog Contreras to land in Daytona…he’ll need to produce in 2014 to make a name for himself…2014 draft is DEEP in catchers and Cubs will likely take more than one from what I’ve heard…Daytona club will be fun to watch again this season…Iowa too for a change…

                  • Brett

                    Hannemann … is not a catcher.


                • Jason P

                  And he’s actually not 24, he’s 22 turning 23 early this year. Not quite dire yet, but another injury could be devastating.

              • Kyle

                No one said it was the end of the world. It’s like pulling teeth to get people to admit that anything having to do with a prospect is even slightly disappointing.

                • Jason P

                  His injury is slightly disappointing. Key word, slightly. He’s starting in A+ when we all thought he’d be AA right now. Big whoop. He’s not even 22 yet.

  • rabbit

    i’m surprised the Yankees didn’t jump on him…I like this pick a lot …especially if olt doesn’t make the MLB roster out of spring training…we got pretty lucky last year from the production we got at 3rd base with valbuena/ransom…valbuena/murphy isn’t exactly a sure thing for a repeat performance from last year’s 3rd base production.

    • http://BleacherNation blewett

      Maybe we did this so we can trade Barney to the Yankees?

      • woody

        That might be what’s going to happen. The Yankees don’t have much of a farm system, but maybe they trade him for a player to be named later and some cash. One thing I have noticed is that Barney and Castro seem pretty close. And I would add Rizzo to that trio. Funny how things change with one lousy season. Going into 2013 those three guys were the young guns and core players. Now Barney and Castro are just looking to hold on to their jobs.

        • Voice of Reason

          Stalin Castro and barney are pretty close?

          Are you high?

          • Jason P

            In terms of projected future value, no, it’s not close, but they were pretty close offensively last season (Barney was probably actually slightly better because of his defense). Both were in the range of worst 5 offensive regulars in baseball.

            Including Rizzo in that group is asinine.

          • woody

            Have you ever heard of “close” being used in a personal reference? Like close friends? It wasn’t used as reference to talent.

      • Voice of Reason

        We might as well keep barney because if we trade him we will get nothing for him. He has no value.

        We know he can play defense. If he could only get the average up we could have something. A big IF.

        Nobody wants him. The Yankees signed a second baseman who can’t stay healthy in Roberts. They would rather take that big chance with Roberts than five us a bag of balls for barney.

  • Don Eaddy

    I think he could be a nice piece to keep around for the future if he is in a utility role. He is a career .262/.322/.340 that can play anywhere and can run the bases well as a potential pinch runner. Sounds nice off the bench.

  • woody

    I have to think that Barney is the first man out.

  • Dustin S

    The articles out of KC were that writers there were disappointed to lose him because was a nice sparkplug kind of player last year. It has to up the odds of Olt starting the year at Iowa, which is probably prudent anyway even if his vision looks better in ST.

  • woody

    I read last week that if the team cuts a guy that is under contract before opening day, that the team is only responsible to pay 20% of the value of the contract. Is this true? If it is then would there be a possibility of this happening to Barney? Considering that Bonafacio is probably making no more that a million dollars if you added 20% of Barneys contract to that, it would still be less money than having Barney for the year. I doubt this would occur unless the Cubs feel that Barnry has no significant trade value.

  • http://BN Sacko

    If this helps keep D McDonald out of Wrigley Iowa and Arizona Im all for it.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Heh heh when I was first on BN to suggest getting him would be good move nobody agreed- now everyone says great deal- only one view if not lead sled dog

    • baldtaxguy

      Have you met Jon?

    • woody

      Yes you are the man!!!!!!!!!!!! I bow to thee

    • brainiac

      dihard does tend to predict things on occasion. you guys gotta listen to him more, he’s our village elder.

      • Rich H

        “he’s our village idiot”……. There I fixed you typo 😀

      • Internet Random

        Given the enormous volume of loose stool he spews onto our screens on a daily basis, it would be a miracle if he weren’t right from time to time. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • Patrick W.

      I am going to have to issue a ruling here. Kyle was first to seriously suggest he be signed, was sort of challenged, gave a good argument to which Brett replied “When you put it that way, I don’t hate it.” Kyle gets ‘credit’.

      • baldtaxguy

        February 2, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply
        Bonifacio is available- good influence

        • Patrick W.

          I considered that in my deliberation but this statement does not count as a serious suggestion and you will note that nobody responded to it. My ruling stands. Further I should note that the suggestion Diehard is a Village Idiot is out of order and I would gladly be a villager where he was considered such.

  • ThatCubsGuy

    No other choice but to like this deal

  • another JP

    It’s now being reported the Cubs will basically be paying the remainder of Bonafacio’s salary (w/incentives) if he makes the big league club. So the deal isn’t as rosy as we were all lead to believe when the story came out. But if I had a choice I’d rather the Cubs pay Bonafacio and trade Barney.

  • bobdawg78

    I agree, I’d rather see Barney traded now for a PTBNL, and open that spot on the 40 man for Bonafacio. Having Bonafacio in essence will allow us to roll with 4 OFs, and him being the 5th OF/backup IF. Like someone posted earlier, we could roll with 12 position players, and 13 pitchers. Thus we could keep Cabrera in our pen, and not have to expose him on the waiver wire.

    My other reasoning behind Barney leaving, is if Olt makes the big league team, and starts at 3rd, Valbuena and Murphy can platoon at 2nd, and Bonafacio can backup up 3rd and the OF. Bonafacio also would be a good pinch runner for us if needed late in games.

  • edgebrookbleacherbum

    Solid move by the cubs. I love his speed on the bases and if he can hit .270+, Renteria will find a way to get him in the lineup.

  • Benlake

    When a player is signed to a minor league contract and gets injured (Mark Mulder) and out for the season……does anyone know what if any compensation he’s entitled to?

    • Rich H

      He is entitled to his minor league contract because in essence he never got on the 40 man.