Because of course this was going to happen in the 20 minute period while I was walking to work: according to a release from the Jays, Emilio Bonifacio has been dealt to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later or cash, while Colby Rasmus has placed on the 15-day DL. This frees up one 40-man roster spot and two spots on the active roster, which have been filled by Kevin Pillar– as discussed earlier– and Munenori Kawasaki.
Never too late to fix your mistakes, I guess. Except, y’know, when it totally is.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that Emilio Bonifacio is what sunk this team, or anything like that. He’s just one of many parts of the compendium of cock-ups and underperformances that did the Jays in. Not that it’s necessarily his fault that he was miscast as a full-time player by a team drooling over the .296/.360/.393 line he put up in 2011, when he was last healthy.
Frankly, as much as sour fuckheads wanted to argue all season about how the Jays should have known he’d be this bad, it wasn’t the craziest proposition. Though he struggled at the big league level in his first full season at age 24, in his final three seasons with the Marlins, from ages 25 through 27, he posted a .280/.345/.362 line over eleven-hundred plate appearances, so anyone suggesting that anything close to this year’s disgusting .218/.258/.321 should have been expected is being pretty thoroughly disingenuous.
His defence, despite some glaring errors, particularly in the early going, seemed by my eyes to have gotten noticeably better, and the DRS and UZR metrics– in the tiny sample sizes at multiple positions this season– liked him a lot better than I’m sure Jays fans did. Of course, his range wasn’t nearly the issue that his horrible misplays were.
And… well… who the hell needs to defend him at this point anyway? Except in that it needs to be made clear that the Jays front office wasn’t quite as horrendously inept as it maybe seems when they tabbed him as a key player in the deal with the Marlins (not a dealbreaker, as much as some people want to believe what was spoonfed them after the fact)– and that maybe the Royals aren’t quite as crazy as they seem, either. At least, not because of this move, at least.
More importantly, I think Bonifacio’s departure sends a good signal to a worried fan base. The minuscule return they’ll receive suggests to me that there was probably a decent chance Bonifacio wouldn’t have been tendered a contract this winter, which shows that Alex Anthopoulos isn’t so stubborn on his prior evaluations as to be completely beholden to the status quo. I think that bodes well for what we all know has to be done about the catcher [taps the side of his nose], and maybe, if we really want to stretch it, signals the possibility that the club will take enough of Josh Johnson’s 2013 into account to decide not to bring the strug-ugling starter back for another kick at the cat, and maybe even speaks to the status of Melky Cabrera– as, perhaps, does the promotion of Kevin Pillar.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Let’s just enjoy that we’ll get a chance to see 32nd-rounder-turned-real-prospect Kevin Pillar, that Munenori Kawasaki is back, that– with only three true outfielders now on the roster (with apologies DeRosa, Lind, and Encarnacion)– Anthony Gose is probably not far from making his return, and that the long journey toward entering April 2014 with a reloaded roster has finally, somewhat belatedly, begun.
2013, you guys!